The Sunday Mail
Ngezi Platinum Stars……………………………..0
AFTER watching his Harare City leave it until very late to survive relegation while his former club CAPS United blew a chance to win the Premiership title yesterday, Lloyd Chitembwe was a relieved man.
The coach insisted he had no regrets leaving the Green Machine for Harare City.
Instead he is a happy man that the Sunshine Boys lived to fight another day on the Premiership as they avoided defeat to guarantee their survival.
“Surviving relegation gives me great pleasure,’’ Chitembwe said.
Chitembwe received criticism from a section of the CAPS United fans when he dumped the Green Machine midway through the season when the Harare giants were just a point behind champions FC Platinum.
“I do not have any regrets for moving from CAPS United to Harare City, football is all about taking challenges and I am happy with the challenge that I took.
“I took the challenge and achieved what I was supposed to achieve and it gives one a great feeling but it was not going to be possible without the help of a great team from Harare City from the board right up to the supporters,” said Chitembwe.
Despite not regretting his decision to abandon a team which had higher chances of winning the league title for a side languishing in the relegation zone, Chitembwe admitted to have been under pressure since August 19 when he joined Harare City. “I have never been in such a situation; I have been under so much pressure since I joined the team mid-season this was my first time to find myself in such a situation in my career both as a player and coach (wanting to survive relegation on the last day)
“All I wanted was to try and achieve what I was mandated to achieve and I am very happy at the end of the day,” he said.
He paid tribute to his charges whom he described as a bunch of fantastic players and hinted at retaining the bulk of his squad.
“Credit should be given to the players’ they have been fantastic since I joined the team and they will be massive change in performance and not personnel next season,” said Chitembwe.
Harare City needed a point going into the match and they had to employ a defensive approach to frustrate Ngezi at Rufaro yesterday.
The hosts were sterile upfront, managing just a single shot on target late into the match when Moses Muchenje’s close range drew the best of Ngezi goalkeeper Nelson Chadya five minutes from time.
Chitembwe admitted in a post-match interview that it was their tactical approach as a point was enough for the Sunshine Boys to survive the chop.
“The whole idea was to try and keep it safe especially in defence, we were against conceding”.