CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe is unsure how long it will take for his team to recover from the disturbances that rocked the club two weeks ago, culminating in the club sacking three players. The Harare football giants, who gave everything against log leaders Chicken Inn at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday, were left crushed with several players strewn on the turf following a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a powerful shot by Brett Amidu three minutes after the restart.
The result lifted Chicken Inn back to the top of the table while the Green Machine dropped to 12th position on the log table with a paltry 17 points after 15 matches.
The defeat was Caps’ fourth on the trot. It was also the second defeat at home. But more importantly, they gave a spirited performance and with a little bit of luck they could have emerged with at least a point.
The dismal run of results comes at the back of disturbances which saw players threatening to boycott their match against Cranborne Bullets as they demanded outstanding bonuses and a review of their salaries.
Goalkeeper Simba Chinani, defender Dennis Dauda and Clive Augusto were fired for their alleged involvement in the industrial action.
And as they struggle to get out of the woods, Chitembwe believes their situation is not permanent.
“It’s a situation we could have avoided and I am talking about the team not necessarily the club. When we started after about four to five games, we were trailing by 13 points but we did manage to close the gap to about six points within the leading pack, but after the incident of two weeks ago, all hell broke loose and it’s difficult to regain the form we had before the disturbances,” he said.
“But what else can we do, we have to dig deep. It is a process, we will try and find a way out of it. As far as I know there is no situation which is permanent and we just have to change it, no one will do it for us. Its only us who can take ourselves out of the situation.
Chitembwe was forced to tinker with team, fielding mostly youngsters with defender Tichaona Macheka and striker Diego Makurumidze being given starting roles while goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi, impressive in the build-up to the match, made his debut.
Forward Enock Karembo was also given a run late on while defender Jimmy Dzingai who was reportedly contemplating quitting after a fall out with one of the coaches, was a late substitute.
Despite Caps conceding, Munditi endeared himself to the fans after making several classy stops.