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LMPS not ready to challenge for league title – Matete


Moorosi Tsiane

LMPS coach Seephephe Matete has downplayed his team’s chances of challenging for silverware this season saying his squad is nowhere near the Vodacom Premier League’s top guns in terms of quality.

Simunye, as the police side is affectionately known, has so far been deemed as one of the teams that has potential to push the likes of Bantu, Matlama and Lioli in the title chase this season but Matete said they were not ready.

LMPS acquired Retšelisitsoe Mopeli from Lijabatho, Kefuoe Mahula from Matlama, Bokang Mothoana and Nkesi Rankhasa among others who added on to the already star-studded squad which had the likes of Roboama Koloti, Monyatheli Ntobo, Sekhoane Moerane, Nkau Lerotholi, Basia Makepe, Relebohile Mabone, Tšoarelo Mokoaleli, Sello Tale and Tšepo Seturumane. The bulk of the said players have been in different national structures before.

But Matete said the experience was giving a wrong perception that his side must be fighting for top honours because they do not have the quality that is prevalent in other top sides.

When the league was suspended last week, LMPS was ninth in the table with only four points after losing to new comers CCX in their opening match of the season. They went on to beat Swallows but were again beaten by Matlama before drawing nil-all with Sefotha-fotha in their last match.

“We must do away with the perception that we have the quality to match the likes of Bantu, Lioli, Matlama and even Linare and challenge for honours,” Matete said.

“There is still a lot of work to be done with by my team. We are not yet ready to challenge those teams. There is actually a big gap between us and them; we can’t even match them pound for pound.”

The former Likuena mentor said while it was common for teams to perform surprisingly, LMPS would only be ready to upset their opponents next season.

“I know we can pull a surprise this season and win the league but we are not ready. I am new in this team and players are still trying to understand how I want them to do things. I am also trying to get used to the team and it takes at least a season to get combinations right.

“For now, I don’t think we are ready to compete for the league.”

He said the biggest challenge was that LMPS has just been an average team only playing for survival in the league, so he must work on the team’s mentality.

“In previous years they were just playing to maintain their league status and maybe get into the top eight, so we must change their mentality and make them believe they can play to win silverware. Therefore, it won’t be easy to work on their mental state and make them believe that they can also win trophies.

“We must convince them that they can do this. We must hype them up and make them believe in themselves. At the moment, they don’t have that urge, the fighting spirit and the character to win.

“It is clear from the matches that we have played so far… The team looks relaxed, so there is a lot of work that I believe must still be done and it will take concerted efforts from the players, the technical team, the supporters and the management,” Matete said.

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