Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
CAPS United coach Mark Harrison is sticking with the Green Machine, despite the challenges they are facing, and says he doesn’t support the decision by Rodreck Mutuma to dump the club in these trying times.The Englishman, who has turned himself into the most popular coach at CAPS United since Charles Mhlauri, yesterday said while Mutuma’s departure was a big blow, he would not beg the forward to return to the team.
Mutuma announced this week that he was fed up with the perennial problems at the club and has since stopped training with the team while angling for a move to Highlanders.
The former DeMbare forward joined Makepekepe at the start of the season.
Harrison has also spoken about the frustrations he has endured at the club but yesterday said everyone at CAPS United should play a part to bring the situation back to normal than abandon the club.
He even said life would not stop at the Green Machine simply because Mutuma had decided to pack his bags and look for greener pastures elsewhere.
The Englishman took charge of CAPS United’s training session, at the National Sports Stadium yesterday, in preparation for Sunday’s home clash with Chapungu.
He said he had not engaged Mutuma personally but feels that CAPS United were big enough to move on without the striker.
“He has, obviously, made a decision and he has disappeared off the face of the planet,” said Harrison.
“I have not been able to speak to him, the team manager has not been able to speak with him as well. I think he has been communicating with (chief executive) Joe Makuvire.
“He has made his decision. I’m not going around chasing people. If anybody wants to leave the club my mind is that it’s a free world. If they want to go they must go.
“I’m not going to force people to stay. We have to move on. He (Mutuma) is a good player, a good striker, a good guy and if he has made a decision, then he must stand by his decision. But if he wants to come back, he has a lot of begging to do.”
Makepekepe’s in-house problems have affected the Harare giants in a big way as the players boycotted training last week to force the management to pay them their dues.
Chaos stalked their trip to Mutare last week where the team arrived in batches for the goalless draw against Buffaloes where Mutuma missed a penalty.
Harrison, though, feels they could be past the worst of the storm that has been hitting their camp.
“It’s unfortunate what has been going on in the last four or five weeks but I think this week we look a little bit more prepared than we were last week with all the disturbances going on,” said the Englishman.
“This week it settled down a bit and, hopefully, there will be more focus and preparedness mentally.
“Hopefully, if we do that, then we can be able to give ourselves a better performance.
Veteran forward Leonard Tsipa is back in training while defender Carlton Munzabwa appears to have shaken off a groin injury that troubled him in the last two weeks.
“The preparation is going quite well. We are looking forward to the game on Sunday. We had thought the game is going to be a week away but it has been brought back forward again and we have been preparing nicely,” said Harrison.
The Green Machine coach said they were aware that Chapungu have been on a revival path of late.
John Nyikadzino’s men have managed to shake off a disappointing start to the season and have gone for six games unbeaten since the 1-0 win over Highlanders.
“I think they are on a good run lately, they haven’t lost the last five or six games now. So they are in form.
“They are going to be a tough nut to crack I’m sure, physical side, pretty direct. So we know what we are up against. We just got to come up with a game plan to beat them.”
Tsholotsho v Dongo Sawmill (White City)
Chicken Inn v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Harare City v Hwange (Rufaro), Flame Lily v Buffaloes (Lafarge), Whawha v ZPC Kariba (Ascot)
How Mine v Dynamos (Barbourfields), CAPS United v Chapungu (NSS), FC Platinum v Triangle (Mandava)