LIKUENA interim coach Seephephe “Mochini” Matete has called for patience and more friendlies as he prepares the national team for the upcoming Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) tourney to be staged in South Africa in May.
Matete made the remarks following Likuena’s 2-0 defeat by the Under 23 Zebras of Botswana in a friendly played at the Botswana National Stadium in Gaborone on Wednesday.
“This Botswana friendly gave us insight on the current state of our team since we are currently in the rebuilding phase,” said Matete.
He said they needed to play at least two or three more friendly games before the upcoming COSAFA tournament to be held in South Africa’s North West province from 17-30 May 2015.
“Our team was not cohesive and our defence was a bit shaky so we need at least two or three more friendlies before we go to the COSAFA games,” Matete said.
“It is only when we play a lot of friendlies that we can come up with the right combinations before the tournament.”
The former Matlama player said they may possibly play Botswana again while they are making moves to play Free State Stars and Bloemfontein Celtics in friendly matches.
“Botswana have asked for another friendly but it is still to be confirmed, while we are also holding talks with South African premier league sides, Free State Stars and Bloemfontein Celtics, for friendlies,” he said.
Matete added that he also needed to work on his players’ attitude during high pressure situations and ensure they don’t get demoralised after conceding goals.
He said another area needing improvement was ensuring they play as a unit and work on their tactical discipline.
“We were very unlucky to concede a goal through a controversial penalty in the dying minutes of the first half,” Matete said.
“After the second goal, we lost focus. So there is still a lot of work to be done especially as far as mental fitness and tactical discipline are concerned. We need to show more resolve after conceding instead of the other way round and also play as a unit.”
However, according to the veteran mentor, all hope is not lost as they are incorporating new players into the team.
“I see a light at the end of the tunnel with this team, although it will take time for the young players to gel with the senior team,” Matete said.
“We gave striker Morapeli Lesoetsa a run in the last 10 minutes and he looked quite promising.
“We also played with Mabuti Potloane just behind Thapelo Tale. So I think it will take time for them to adjust to the formation.”
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