CAPS United coach, Lloyd Chitembwe, has said his troops will aim to be at their best when they clash against Egyptian side Zamalek in the CAF champions league at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria on Friday.
The Castle Lager Premier League reigning champions went through to the group stages of the tournament for the first time in their history on away goal after holding TP Mazembe to a one all draw in Lubumbashi, DRC before playing to a goalless draw in Harare in the reverse fixture.
Addressing journalists at their final training session in Harare, Chitembwe said he has rallied his players to follow in their footsteps of last season and in the champions league this year.
“[I’m telling them] nothing, but just obviously . . . to be competitive. Go there and try to be as good as you have been, especially last year. Yeah, we are deriving motivation from that. We were good last year; we are still good. We went to [TP] Mazembe [and] not many people gave us a chance [but] here we are. We deserved to be there and I think we derive motivation from that,” Chitembwe said.
“[We want to] try and do well; [to] try and compete. I think this is very, very important, we just want to compete and do well.”
Chitembwe, however, said there is nothing extra ordinary the team has been doing in preparation for the high profile clash except for what they have been doing prior to the encounter.
“Yeah, [it’s] just like all these other days, [we are] preparing in the same way, doing more or less the same things. I think that’s basically what we have been going through,” he said.
CAPS United had a long break in the league after their high profile Harare derby against Dynamos slated for last weekend was postponed, giving players a timely rest ahead of the trip to North Africa on Wednesday afternoon.
“The only advantage I think is that the boys had rest. It’s good for the bodies, they are not machines, like I have always said. We have players like Hardy [Zvirekwi] and Rony [Pfumbidzai] who have played football for one and half years now [continuously]. So you really need to be very, very sensible and try and freshen them a bit by giving them time off. Yeah, I think it has worked well,” said Chitembwe.
CAPS United yesterday welcomed veteran striker, Leaonard Tsipa, into the mini league squad after CAF registration was successful. United fans, however, may have to wait longer to see the 2016 premier league golden boot winner, who is a major doubt for the Zamalek clash. Tsipa returned to training last Friday and is still nursing an injury.
“Well, Leonard [Tsipa] is still carrying a knock. We just hope he’ll get better with time,” he said.