Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
CHICKEN Inn FC coach Joey Antipas has questioned his players’ mental strength and challenged them to stand up and defend the club’s badge following a string of poor results.
The GameCocks’ title hopes suffered a fresh setback when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Yadah FC at Luveve Stadium on Saturday.
Chicken Inn have openly declared their championship ambitions, but things are not going according to script. They have recently gone for three consecutive games without a win, losing 1-2 to ZPC Kariba and being held to a goalless draw by league debutants TelOne before Saturday’s stalemate.
The side enjoys some of the best corporate support in domestic football, but has struggled for consistency in this campaign. They could have leapfrogged champions FC Platinum to the top of the league table had they collected maximum points in their last three games. Antipas is concerned by his team’s recent slump in form.
“The guys are no longer playing with that confidence, fluidity and high tempo. I believe it’s a confidence dent. As a player you have to be confident and some of the players are not showing that. Some players now need to stand up and be counted. Some of our key players are not in it at all. We need to get some positive results and the confidence will be back,” said Antipas. Chicken Inn are now third on the league table with 31 points from 18 games and trail leaders FC Platinum by four points. They also have a game in hand.
To make matters worse for Antipas, his top striker who is also the league’s leading goal scorer Clive Augusto has left to join South African side Maritzburg United. He left the GameCocks with 14 goals from 17 games and Antipas described his departure as a blow to the team.
“It’s a big setback, but we have to move on; life goes on without him. He was our source of goals; he was on target a number of times for us in the first half of the season. However, we are not a one-man team, other players have to stand up and be counted,” said Antipas. – @innocentskizoe