MASERU — Linare coach, Thulo Leboela, is confident his team has regrouped and is ready for today’s league tie against Bantu in Hlotse. The Hlotse-based team had an impressive start to the new season beating LMPS and LCS before last Saturday’s 1-3 loss to LDF. “The loss to LDF is now a thing of the past and we have regrouped to tackle Bantu in today’s encounter,” Leboela said.
Leboela said his team will have to dig deeper against a Bantu side that last Sunday registered a 9-0 win over Joy for their first win since Motlatsi Shale was appointed their coach. “We know very well what to expect against Bantu. The players have put behind the disappointing loss to LDF and are motivated to do well in today’s match.
Leboela said his team will be without lanky striker, Leboneng Moqecho, who is serving suspension after receiving a red card in the tie against the army side last weekend. “All the players are in good shape, we are also missing Moqecho due to suspension but we have depth in the team and the other will do the job against Bantu,” said Leboela.
“We had a week to correct the mistakes that saw us being punished last weekend and also had a team talk with the players to prepare them for the upcoming game,” he said. Bantu skipper, Tlali Maile, feels there is no more turning back for his team after last Sunday’s 9-0 demolishing of struggling Joy.
“Yes, the approach has to be different because Linare is totally a different side to what we experienced against Joy last week,” Maile said. The Bantu captain said it will be a different ball game against Linare in today’s encounter.
“We have prepared ourselves to go in battle with a Linare side that has won their opening matches while they have also been very impressive,” he said. Maile said his team is slowly getting better and the new additions in the team are also adapting to life with the Mafeteng based side. “We know a lot was expected from us, but I feel two draws in the opening matches was that bad,” Maile said.
Last week’s 9-0 trashing over Joy handed their new coach, Motlatsi Shale, his first win since he joined the team in the off-season. Maile however feels failure to register a win in their opening matches had nothing to do with the appointment of the new coach. The diminutive central defender told the Sunday Express that he expects a tough encounter against Linare and his teammates will have to double their efforts to come out victors.
“What people do not remember is that it was a similar problem at the beginning of the previous campaign as we had a poor start to the campaign and it is not necessary to put the new coach and players under pressure,” said Maile.
“The win over Joy was the beginning of good things to come and I believe we have a chance of getting the three points today as well,” he said. The league champions, Lioli, are away to Joy who are hoping not to concede as many goals like they did in last Sunday’s 0-9 loss to Bantu. Tse Nala have won three of their opening matches with new striker, Nkoto Masoabi netting five times while defender Basia Makepe has four goals.
Likhopo host struggling Mpharane Celtic in another league match today. Both teams lost their last weekend matches and are searching for their first win of the new season.