Away games a headache for Norman Mapeza

Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza.
Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza has put their recent struggles down to playing "many away games" consecutively.

Chippa were cruising towards the end of last year. At some point between November and December they went five games without defeat, recording an impressive four victories and a draw.

The Chilli Boys have since regressed. The Port Elizabeth-based side's campaign reached a new low on Monday when they bombed out of the Nedbank Cup in the last 16 after losing 2-0 away to Bidvest Wits.

Mapeza, who has managed seven wins from 19 games with nine losses and a draw in all tournaments since taking charge last October, isn't pleased that five of their seven league games in the campaign's second round have been on the road, attributing their slump to this.

"If you look at our league games, we have played so many away from home. So far [in the second round of the season] we have played only two at home. that was against Maritzburg [United] and [Orlando] Pirates. This has made things a bit difficult for us," said Mapeza.

"The rest have been away games. In the first round we played more games at home and we didn't collect points the way we would have wanted and now we have been travelling. It's not easy."

Chippa are 12th on the table on 22 points, two away from the relegation zone, with eight games to spare. Their next battle is at home to fellow relegation candidate AmaZulu at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday (6pm).

Mapeza reckons reaching the 30-point mark will all, but see them beat the dreaded axe.

While many would see Chippa's elimination from the Nedbank Cup as a blessing in disguise as they'll now focus more on saving their top-flight status, Mapeza had emphasised that he was giving the Ke Yona Cup a full go.

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