UNDER-FIRE Lioli coach Halemakale Mahlaha’s future at the defending Vodacom Premier League champions is hanging by a thread after a poor start to the 2016-17 campaign.
Previously the team’s technical director for the past two seasons, Mahlaha who took over from Mosholi Mokhothu at the beginning of the season has only managed one win, a draw and a loss in the opening three matches.
The former Likuena assistant coach has a huge task to fill the big shoes left by Mokhothu who won five trophies (three league titles, Top8 and Top4).
For the meantime, his job is safe however as Lioli vice-president Mothoalo Mothoalo this week said they were fully behind him but expected him to start delivering.
“We held a meeting this week and made it clear he has our full support. Mahlaha also understood what is expected from him as head coach because we believe he has got everything he needs to succeed,” Mothoalo said.
Mothoalo said while they did not give Mahlaha an ultimatum, “anything” was possible.
“He was not given an ultimatum but he knows he has to deliver and if he does not, anything is possible. We are looking at the coming two matches on Sunday (today) against Sky Battalion and next weekend against Liphakoe. We will see what happens afterwards but he is still our coach and we are fully behind him,” Mothoalo said.
He dismissed rumours the team was now divided into two camps with some of the players opposed to the coach while others supported him.
“Those are just unfounded rumors from supporters and we cannot comment on them because there is no proof. We have held several one-on-one sessions with our players, especially the senior ones, and they are all behind their coach,” said Mothoalo.
“We have encouraged them to work together because that is the only way of getting results. We also believe luck has not been on our side in previous matches and we failed to bury the chances that we created.
“It is important that he starts winning as that will also bring our supporters’ confidence back. We are a big team and it is important that we keep our supporters happy,” he said.
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