Chippa locked and loaded for Polokwane
After a four-day Christmas break, Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza is hopeful that his charges will continue their unbeaten run in the Premier Soccer League when they lock horns with Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday (kickoff 3.30pm).
Mapeza has managed to guide the Chilli Boys through five games without a loss and those desired results have elevated the only Eastern Cape-based professional side to 10th place on the log standings with 17 points from 15 games.
“So far so good and I think we are moving in the right direction as a team and my wish for us is to continue where we left off last year when we resume our league games [against City],” Mapeza said.
The Zimbabwean-born mentor said he was not bothered that new Polokwane City coach Clinton Larsen, who was sent packing by Chippa United chair Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi, was the same man who saved the team from relegation last season — meaning Larsen knew Mapeza’s players strengths and weaknesses.
“Our main focus is on us. We are not thinking much of what is happening on the other side of the town,” Mapeza said.
“We are putting the focus on how we want to go and perform.
“We are going away for two games and our focus now is on us and how we want to finish, and if we go there and get four points out of those two games it will be up to us.”
Chilli Boys skipper Veli Mothwa, who has played a big role in the team’s successful run during the past five games said he was ready to continue grinding.
“We had a good break to celebrate Christmas with our families and we are back in business,” he said.
“Everything is still going ahead as planned and we are ready to push for more good results.
Mothwa, who replaced veteran Cameroon shot-stopper Patrick Tignyemb, said with good teamwork the Chilli Boys could achieve more in top-flight football.
“It was not only me who helped us keep an unbeaten run for five games but the entire team worked for that result and I couldn’t disappoint the guys.
“But I'm not done yet because I haven’t achieved what I want but I have reached my target of five games [without conceding goals].
“Now I see that I can achieve even more — so I’m giving myself another five games without conceding.”
Mothwa said the mood in the team was good and calm and that was becoming big-headed because of their impressive unbeaten run.
“We are cool and we are going to continue fighting for good results,” he said.
The Chilli Boys have finally signed former Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Thokozani Sekotlong, who has been training with the team for two months, and former TUT midfielder Thabiso Lebitso, who impressed the club during the Nedbank Ke Yona talent search in 2019.