Matlama date LCS
MATLAMA welcome LCS at Setsoto Stadium for an Econet Premier League top of the table clash this afternoon.
Matlama go into today’s match on the back of a disappointing 1-0 loss to LMPS in a Top8 quarterfinal while LCS drew 1-1 with Liphakoe in the same tournament.
Tse Putsoa are second in the league table and are 12 points behind leaders Bantu. Before yesterday’s round of matches, they also enjoyed a five-points gap ahead of third-placed LCS.
Matlama coach Charles Manda told the Sunday Express that they are hoping to return to winning ways so that they can get their title defence fight back on course.
“We are taking everything seriously and we must start winning again and please our supporters,” Manda said.
“We missed so many chances last weekend and we were punished because our opponents converted their opportunity. We must start doing better in front of goal.”
He also said they missed the services of attacker Jane Thabantšo, who was not available for selection last weekend.
“He is a good player and has been key for the team so his services were missed but he will be back this weekend and hopefully he will add the much-needed value,” he said.
Asked if he still thinks his side has a chance to defend its title, Manda maintained that he thinks that the race is still open.
“Why should we put ourselves under any pressure because of a 12 points’ gap that can be closed in four matches. However, we can’t speak for other teams; we are just focusing on our games while we let them play theirs. They are still within our reach.”
He also defended his side’s inconsistency and saying a side’s form is determined by several variables among them injuries and player suspensions.
LCS coach Mpitsa Marai also said they have been hard at work preparing for a must-win tie.
“The preparations have been intense because we want to win. We are not too worried about last weekend’s results. Instead, what’s important are the lessons that the technical team learnt from the match and how we rectify the mistakes that we made.
“We are playing a tough side, so it’s not going to be an easy match. However, we watched them last weekend although we know that they will be different since this is no longer a cup tie.”
He said winning against Matlama would improve their chances of coming second after current leaders Bantu.
“We are pushing for the second spot and if we beat Matlama on Sunday (today), we will be just two points behind them. That puts us in a good position to fight.”
Marai will be without striker Leboneng Moqecho, midfielder Mosiuoa Boseeka and defender Mojalefa Ramabusa, who are all injured. Another defender Lehlohonolo Moabi is on suspension.
In other league matches today LMPS welcome Lijabatho at PTC Ground while Lifofane travel to Maputsoe DIFA Ground to face the rejuvenated Lioli.
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