Mapeza walking on water

FORMER Warriors coach Norman Mapeza is weaving his magic for South African Premier Soccer League side Chippa United, helping his side out of the relegation zone following a 1-0 victory away to Cape Town City on Saturday, which also stretched their unbeaten run to four matches.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

Mapeza took over the reins in October after the club parted ways with Clinton Larsen following a string of dreadful results. When the former FC Platinum coach took over, the club sat at the bottom of the table, with their future in the Absa Premiership looking doomed.

They were without a win from their first eight matches.

In the last four matches, Mapeza’s team registered a 2-0 victory away to AmaZulu, overcame Black Leopards 3-0 at home, drew 0-0 with Baroka before edging Cape Town City 1-0 in their own backyard on Saturday.

The Saturday result lifted them to 10th place on the league table with 14 points from 14 matches — representing a major improvement .

Several fans took to Twitter to shower praise on Mapeza for the way he has transformed Chippa United.

Next up for the former Monomotapa and FC Platinum coach is a showdown with fellow Zimbabwean coach Kaitano Tembo’s SuperSport United.

A few weeks after arriving at Chippa, Mapeza warned that the team would struggle because they don’t have the right players.

He said his side needed new faces as he could not perform miracles with the current crop of players.

“Things are going to be difficult here, we need to bring in new faces. It’s clear, we need to bring in new faces,” he said back in October.

“I have to be honest with you, I didn’t come here to perform miracles. I’m a football coach and I know this terrain. If things don’t go well for me, as a coach, you either resign or you get fired.
“But at the moment, we need players here. We need players. Each and every department — from up front, midfield, in defence.”

But as things look up for his team, Mapeza has been praising his charges of late for the hard work and commitment.

He is also proving wrong some of the people who doubted him like Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, who commented that Mapeza had not changed anything at Chippa United.