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Senong supports embattled Masoabi

Moorosi Tsiane

LIKUENA coach Thabo Senong has supported embattled striker Nkoto Masoabi, who has struggled for game time at his Durban outfit, Real Kings.

Real Kings plays in the GladAfrica Championship.

Masoabi is in his second season at the club but is yet to play a competitive match this season.

However, Senong has called him into the side that is preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers back to back matches against Benin next month. Masoabi has already played against Sierra Leone and Nigeria scoring once in the latter in November.

The two matches will be played between 23 and 31 March in Benin and Lesotho.

Senong told the Sunday Express that calling up Masoabi was a sign of faith in their players adding that he was happy that the player is aware of his situation and is training hard to maintain fitness.

“The good thing about Masoabi is that he has a big heart and is aware of what is happening, so he is working hard to maintain fitness,” Senong said.

“With foreign based players it’s always challenging to get game time because of the competition in their teams and the level of the leagues they are playing. But we must continue believing in them and crate a periodisation plan if they are not playing for their clubs.

“I am happy for Tumelo Khutlang and Tshwarelo Bereng who are now getting more game time. Motebang Sera is not getting game time but we know that in football things can still change in the coming weeks.

“Fortunately for us, some are getting game time but even if they don’t get it, it’s important for us to help them maintain their confidence and fitness because we need them to deliver.”

The senior national team side has been training for the last three weeks and Senong says he is happy with what he has seen.

“The priority has been maintaining their physical condition while also allowing new players like Tieho Ntulo (Lioli), Monaheng Ramalefane (Matlama) and Thabang Rabi (LDF) to adapt. We have just been working three times a week to allow players to join their teams on Thursday and Friday for league matches.

“The players understand the importance of the next fixtures. The morale is high and I am also happy that our local players have been in good form at their respective clubs,” Senong said.

He said they would start playing friendlies starting tomorrow.

“In the fourth week and for the next three weeks we will give them competitive friendlies so that we monitor their readiness. We are playing Bloemfontein Celtic on Tuesday and this is the phase where we measure our team’s readiness.

“We are also engaging Masoabi’s team so that we get him earlier than the FIFA break so that he can join camp earlier.”

Senong’s charges play Sierra Leone in the second leg at Setsoto Stadium between 1 and 9 June 2020 with their last group L match against Nigeria between 31 August and 8 September this year.

Lesotho is third with one point from two matches behind leaders Nigeria who have six points and Benin with three points. Sierra Leone anchors the group with one point.

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