Antipas coy on title challenge

HARARE - Despite working their way back into Castle Lager Premiership title matrix, Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas still sees the platinum teams — FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars — as PSL title favourites.

Following an indifferent start to this season’s campaign, the Gamecocks have slowly worked their way back and are unbeaten in their last five matches in which they have picked up four wins and a single draw.

Antipas’ charges took full advantage of the platinum teams’ slip-ups recently to cut the gap with log leaders FC Platinum to just nine points and seven with second-placed Ngezi Platinum.

The reigning champions FC Platinum are yet to register a win in the second half of the season following a defeat to ZPC Kariba and two draws against Yadah FC and CAPS United.

Norman Mapeza’s side are now on 46 points from 20 matches while Ngezi Platinum are on 44 points.

Ngezi Platinum had lost four straight games before they picked up two straight wins over Triangle and Dynamos in the last weeks.

While FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum were going through a lean spell, Chicken Inn on the other hand, were slowly going about their business without attracting much attention.

The Gamecocks are now in third place on the log with 37 points.

With his side now perfectly poised to break this duopoly between Pure Platinum Play and Madamburo, Antipas is not getting carried away in the remaining 14 games.

“It’s good we are winning at the moment. But I still think nine points is a significant gap. There is still a long way to go,” Antipas told the Daily News.

“The only good thing is that we have cut the gap. I think the two platinum teams remain the favourites.

“They have quality in their squads and I don’t see them giving up easily. Ngezi got their mojo back again and FC Platinum will obviously get their touch back.

“But football being football, we will try to keep on getting points. We just need to continue working hard and get points while at the same time praying that the platinum teams lose points which is not easy though.”

Antipas has also added depth to his squad by signing defender Last Sithole from FC Platinum and a number of unheralded youngsters.

“We brought in Sithole and we hope his experience will be massive to us at the back. We also signed some few exciting youngsters who are showing a lot of potential,” said Antipas.

When the league resumes next weekend following the break to pave way for the national harmonised elections, Chicken Inn will travel to Maglas Stadium to face relegation-threatened Shabanie Mine.

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