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Chippa United Move Off The Foot Of Absa Premiership Table:Focus On Top Eight

Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza is a man definitely weaving his magic wand at the Port Elizabeth based club and club chairman Siviwe Mpengesi must be a man beaming with both pride and joy at choosing to stick to the Zimbabwean gaffer in the early days when all hopes of maintaining Premiership status looked bleak and things are really beginning to turn around.

Mapeza’s Chilli Boys did themselves a huge favour over the weekend in the Mother City by handing Cape Town City a demoralising defeat, a result that took Chippa out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.

Nigerian striker Augustine Kwem scored the winner in a 1-0 upset result at Athlone Stadium on Saturday night.

The Chilli Boys’s first win over their rivals in the Mother City ensured they get out of the relegation zone and are now six places better off in 10th spot on the table after clinching a third win from four starts.

Mapeza has really done his redemption business quietly recording decent results week in , week out and Mr Mpengesi is beaming with pride on the way his side has risen in recent weeks despite all the odds and negative reputation on whether he could find a man to dance according to his preferred tune.

They achieved a historic feat for all their troubles as for the first time in their history, they have kept four consecutive AbsaPrem clean sheets and its all thanks to the former Galatasary defender who is in the dug out.

“Whenever you get to a new club‚ the foundation is to build a solid defence – to have a good goalkeeper‚ four quality defenders who can depend on each other‚ fullback who sometimes can join up with the attack. That’s where we started‚ shaping the team ….” said Mapeza.

The morale is high in the camp and results of the last 4 weeks can attest to how serious business has been in Port Elizabeth and Mapeza has warned his players not to get too much ahead of themselves despite winning plaudits among fans and critics.

“I was talking to the players straight after the match and telling them ‘we have to remain humble’.”

“When things are going like this‚ it is very easy to switch off‚ so what’s important is to maintain the discipline and the positive attitude.

“If we are going to lose that‚ then we are in trouble‚” he warned.

Mapeza is not taking all the gratitude but says the secret to the turnaround is simple: hardwork and commitment.

“The results have been positive‚ especially in terms of training‚ the approach‚ the desire. You can tell that they are willing to learn‚ they are willing to push

“So for me as a coach this is a big positive‚ I always leave the training ground and go home in good spirits because the guys are willing to push‚” added the ex-Zimbabwe international and national team coach.

Chippa will be in the top eight if they beat SuperSport United at home in their last game on December 21 and what a transformation that would be.

By Gerald Dandah

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