LDF coach sounds battle cry

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Moorosi Tsiane

Le­sotho de­fence Force (LDF) Foot­ball Club coach, Male­fet­sane Pheko, has called for pa­tience from dis­grun­tled sup­port­ers who are un­happy at the team’s ap­par­ent wan­ing for­tunes.

The army side started the 2014/15 Vo­da­com Pre­mier League sea­son on a high but lost steam as the cam­paign reached the half­way mark and took its cur­rent fes­tive sea­son break.

Af­ter win­ning their open­ing five league matches of the sea­son, sohle-sohle, as LDF are af­fec­tion­ately known, have since been knocked off top spot and now oc­cupy third place be­hind Li­oli and Bantu re­spec­tively.

A sec­tion of the team’s fans are not happy with the turn of events, and have started mak­ing noise about this turn of events.

But while Pheko also con­cedes it has been painful to watch LDF strug­gling to win their ninth league ti­tle and equal Mat­lama’s all-time record, the club leg­end still in­sist the ac­com­plish­ment is still pos­si­ble.

Pheko on Mon­day this week told the Le­sotho Times los­ing steam as the sea­son pro­gresses had be­come a wor­ry­ing fac­tor at the club, which used to dom­i­nate do­mes­tic foot­ball in the 1990s.

“dur­ing my play­ing days in the mid-90s, LDF were one of the tough­est sides around but for the past six or seven sea­sons, we have been strug­gling badly, which has been very painful to watch.

“how­ever, I be­lieve we only need a bit of pa­tience from our fans be­cause I am look­ing at how best we can re-es­tab­lish our­selves and start to chal­lenge for honours once again,” Pheko said.

With half the sea­son gone and LDF in third spot on the 14-team ta­ble with 27 points fol­low­ing eight wins, three draws and two losses, and lead­ers Li­oli seven points clear while sec­ond-placed Bantu also have 27 points but are ahead of sohle-sohle due to a bet­ter goal ag­gre­gate, Pheko be­lieves there is still enough time to over­haul Tse nala for pole po­si­tion.

Pheko also says he be­lieves the ab­sence of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, who used to make LDF such a rock in the old days, had con­trib­uted to the side’s fall from grace.

“In those days, you would find that we had play­ers join­ing us from other top teams in the coun­try be­cause they sim­ply wanted to be part of LDF; such was our dom­i­nance. Th­ese star-play­ers would come with a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence, but this is no longer the case now as we usu­ally get raw play­ers that we have to build from scratch, and to de­velop them into the class we are look­ing at, takes time,” said Pheko.

Yet Pheko still be­lieves LDF are still in with a chance to win the Premier­ship and has vowed to fight to the bit­ter end to en­sure sohle­sohle re­main in the ti­tle-hunt.

“We are still very much in the race for the league ti­tle. What has be­come a prob­lem for us is our front­line.

“The strik­ers have not been sharp enough of late, so I think that is one of the ar­eas that we must fo­cus on dur­ing this fes­tive sea­son break, and en­sure we re­in­force.

The league ti­tle is still within reach, and we be­lieve there is ev­ery chance that this could be our year to re­claim lost glory.”

LDF coach Male­fet­sane Pheko.

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