Likhopo manager Qamako Mahao has criticized both the players and coaches for the team’s poor run of form.
The Red Army once led the 14-team Vodacom Premier League table but are now sixth on the table with seven matches to play before the season comes to a close.
Last weekend, the Maseru-based outfit went down 1-0 to Liphakoe at LCS Ground in a continuation of their free-fall and Mahao says the players were not committed enough in the match hence the defeat, which further dented their hopes for the league title.
Under pressure to return to their early season form, Likhopo play Likila United today knowing a loss would be yet another blow for their championship aspirations.
The last time Likhopo won a league match was on 7 February when they beat Linare 1- 0, and since then, have drawn against Mphatlalatsane and Matlama and lost to Bantu and Liphakoe.
According to Mahao, the team’s inconsistency is due to players who are not focused on their job, and the constant change of the team by the coaches.
“This is a very serious problem with the players. We are using the same squad that we started the season with and at some point, they were doing quite well but now, things have changed. I don’t want to point fingers but we really have a problem as a team—from our technical department to the players but we are already working on it. We had a meeting after the Liphakoe match and we tried to address these issues and we will continue engaging until we get it right,” Mahao said.
Mahao said most of the games Likhopo have lost were played on Sunday, which he suggested meant the players were not getting enough rest on Friday and Saturday.
“If you can take a closer look you, will notice that most of the matches we lost were played on Sunday. This shows our players do not rest and it means we have to take them to a camp every weekend before matches. But where do we get such money? We are paying these guys and they should know that their job is to play football and must respect that,” he said.
“Yes, you may argue that in more developed countries, teams go into camp every week but here our economic muscle is tiny and we might get to a situation where we will have to choose whether we pay them or cut their salaries to use the money for their camping.”
Mahao also said the constant changing in team selection could be another factor for the loss of form.
“What I have also noticed is that our technical team does not understand that the more you win, the greater the pressure you get. They were so relaxed when the team was doing well and now our team is changing every week. That shows we have a problem. We will also address this matter with them because we can’t afford to finish this season outside the top four,” said Mahao.