By MICHAEL MIYOBA
DESPITE being outside the top ten on the MTN Zambia Super League table, Forest Rangers coach Mwenya Chipepo believes the Ndola outfit still have what it takes to qualify for the ABSA Cup which features the top six teams from the Super League and two teams from the National Division One.
Speaking after the 1-1 stalemate against rivals Zesco United in Saturday’s Ndola derby at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, Chipepo said Forest Rangers will have to work hard to achieve their target to defend the ABSA Cup as defending champions.
Chipepo said his appointment as head coach three weeks ago, Forest Rangers had continued to improve as he enjoys a good relationship with all the players.
“It can be possible to qualify for the ABSA Cup, we just need to work hard and make sure that we defend the title,” Chipepo said.
He said Forest were unfortunate to drop points against the league leaders Zesco United who had to come from behind to rescue a point in the Ndola derby.
“We were leading 1-0 and we made a mistake. We were careless because if you look at the chances we missed we would have beaten Zesco but we still have time to improve on the mistakes we made,” he said.
“We are very disappointed and at the same time we are happy because to pick a point away from home is not easy especially when you are playing Zesco United. They lead the table and I was playing my mentors so it wasn’t easy they have a good team so we are happy with a point,” Chipepo said.
Forest Rangers are 11th on the log with 19 points and will need to win the remaining two games of the first half of the season to make it for the ABSA Cup.
Meanwhile, Kabwe Warriors coach Mumamba Numba said Warriors are determined to finish the first round of the league in top five despite having been relegated out of the top six following a 2-0 defeat to Mutondo Stars in a Week-15 match played on Saturday at Godfrey Chitalu Stadium in Kabwe.
“The league is still very on or now our objective is to make sure that we finish in the top five brackets by then after the first round we will give ourselves another objective so that we can see how we will go about it,” Numba said.
Warriors will face Nkana in their next fixture and Numba is confident that his charges will bounce back after failing to win a match in the last five games where they have managed a draw and four defeats.
“Nkana will be playing behind their home fans. We just have to prepare and psyche our players. The defeat to Mutondo is now water under the bridge we just have to psyche our players so that they are mentally ready for the game against Nkana,” he said.
Warriors are eighth on the Super League table with 22 points and will need about four points in the next two matches to achieve their objective of playing the ABSA Cup.