Ntobo warns Bantu

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Moorosi Tsiane

For­mer na­tional team cap­tain Moitheri Ntobo has warned Bantu about the “tough com­pe­ti­tion and high stan­dards” in the Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball (CAF) Cham­pi­ons league tour­na­ment.

Bantu play As­so­ci­a­tion Sportive (AS) Man­gas­port of Gabon in the pre­lim­i­nary round of the con­ti­nen­tal show­case whose first leg is sched­uled for 15 Fe­bru­ary in li­bre­ville and the re­verse at Set­soto Sta­dium two weeks later.

Ntobo, who cap­tained LCS in four Cham­pi­ons league pre­lim­i­nary round matches against Uganda rev­enue Author­ity (Uganda) and Zim­babwe’s Dy­namos, said Bantu — who are mak­ing their de­but in the com­pe­ti­tion — would have to work ex­tremely hard and as a team if they are to sur­vive in this highly com­pet­i­tive and very lu­cra­tive tour­na­ment.

“it is not easy at all to play in this com­pe­ti­tion; it takes very brave men to play th­ese gi­ants of African foot­ball, and it doesn’t mat­ter whether it is home or away, the com­pe­ti­tion is very tough be­cause it in­volves cham­pi­ons.

“What Bantu have to do is give 100 per­cent to the game and al­ways stay fo­cused be­cause any lapse in con­cen­tra­tion could be dis­as­trous,” Ntobo told the Le­sotho Times.

“Bantu’s op­po­nents will surely be out for an early goal and if they can hold them un­til at least half­time, then they stand a chance. Man­gas­port play­ers will be­come frus­trated if they fail to score early and their sup­port­ers will add to the pres­sure, but like i said, Bantu must not al­low any­thing to dis­tract them be­cause if they do, they will pay dearly for it.” quite late while teams from other coun­tries begin their prepa­ra­tions as soon as they know they have qual­i­fied for the com­pe­ti­tion, and this has al­ways been our prob­lem in th­ese in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions.”

how­ever, Ntobo said Bantu have a good tech­ni­cal team ca­pa­ble of tak­ing the Mafeteng-based out­fit past Man­gas­port.

in ad­di­tion to sea­soned head-coach Mot­latsi Shale, Bantu have also en­listed the ser­vices of for­mer likuena coach les­lie Notši on a con­sult­ing ba­sis for their Cham­pi­ons league cmapi­agn.

“Bantu’s coach­ing depart­ment is quite good, and can help the team beat Man­gas­port. But like i said, it won’t be easy.”

how­ever, the LCS skip­per said play­ing the first leg away from home could be help­ful to A Matšo Mate­bele.

“it might work in their fa­vor that they are start­ing the cam­paign away in Gabon. Bantu only have to make sure that they get an away goal be­cause that will take away some pres­sure go­ing into the re­turn leg at Set­soto.”

Mean­while, Bantu gen­eral manager, Khabisi Molan­toa ex­pressed con­fi­dence of a win in li­bre­ville.

“Morale is very high in camp, and the boys are re­ally look­ing for­ward to the match.

“You can see a lot of de­ter­mi­na­tion in the play­ers, which gives us con­fi­dence that they will come back with some­thing from Gabon, and then fin­ish the job here at home,” Molan­toa said.

he con­tin­ued: “As man­age­ment, we do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to make sure the play­ers are in the right frame of mind go­ing into this match.

“We are aware of the pres­sure the play­ers are un­der and with­out the right guid­ance, this can have ad­verse ef­fects on them and be a dis­as­ter for us.”

BANTU mid­fielder Thabiso Mo­hapi (left) tus­sles for the ball with Free State Stars mid­fielder Wad­abwa Wad­abwa in a friendly played in prepa­ra­tion for the CAF Cham­pi­ons League last De­cem­ber. (Inset: Vet­eran de­fender Moitheri Ntobo).

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