CHICKEN Inn coach Joey Antipas says his boys will not be disturbed by the disruption of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League programme just after they had hit top form in the second half of the league campaign.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The Bulawayo-based side relaunch their title quest with a match against struggling Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium on Sunday as they play catch-up with platinum miners, FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Just before the games were cancelled ahead of the harmonised elections held on July 30, Chicken Inn were on a roll after they got a point from a 1-1 draw away to Dynamos before thumping Nichrut at home as well as beating Mutare City Rovers.
That feat has seen them mount a serious challenge after closing the gap on FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars, who had indifferent displays just before and after the mid-season break.
Chicken Inn are on position three, seven points behind Ngezi Platinum and nine behind FC Platinum, with the two sides playing on Saturday against Nichrut (home) and Bulawayo City (away), respectively.
After the break, FC Platinum fell to ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Stadium, drew 1-1 away to Yadah and played a goalless draw at home against Caps United, while their fellow platinum miners Ngezi, who approached the break on a slump, lost to Herentals before beating Triangle and Dynamos.
Antipas yesterday said it was business as usual in the GameCocks’ camp, but remains unassertive about his challenge for the league title, having being on record in the first half of the season, saying the title belonged to either of the platinum miners.
“I would not want to comment much about the break, but at times it is good to have a breather. For us, it was business as usual and we are looking forward to playing our upcoming games. FC Platinum and Ngezi (Platinum Stars) are still on pole position and we are playing catch-up. We just take our games as they come and need to be winning our games and they (FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars) lose theirs and we see how it goes,” Antipas said.
Chicken Inn’s Obriel Chirinda scored a hat-trick against Nichrut at Luveve Stadium and is one man to watch at the GameCocks.
Defender Last Sithole, who joined Chicken Inn from Bulawayo Chiefs in mid-season, has settled in well, partnering Moses Jackson in central defence.
They were also joined by goalkeeper Samuel Mafukidze and Bravie Sibanda, but Antipas says they have been joined by young players who have been doing well at the club, but have to be managed, saying it would not be easy against Shabanie Mine at Maglas, despite beating them 3-0 in the first leg at Luveve.
“That is a result from the past and we can’t bank on that. Shabanie are a new side and we will have to be on our toes to win it,” Antipas said.