Mokhothu ex­pects Kue­nane to stay

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

LI­OLI coach, Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu says Mo­hau Kue­nane is still in his plans de­spite the vet­eran goal­keeper find­ing very lit­tle game time dur­ing the first round of the Vo­da­com Premier League.

Mokhothu told the Le­sotho Times this week that the out­stand­ing form of this sea­son’s sign­ing from Likhopo, Kananelo Makhooane, had rel­e­gated Kue­nane and last year’s goal­keeper of the sea­son, Lite­boho Mokhehle, to the bench.

“At the start of the sea­son, I had a pol­icy of ro­tat­ing the three goal­keep­ers at Li­oli. How­ever, there came a time when Makhooane edged the other two goal­keep­ers and ce­mented his place in the first 11 be­cause of his good per­for­mances,” he said.

“That does not mean that Kue­nane is not part of our plans. He re­mains an im­por­tant mem­ber of the team.”

The league-win­ning coach said the longserv­ing Kue­nane would be called to ac­tion for the team in the next two months dur­ing the league, 2016 Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball (CAF) Cham­pi­ons League and LNIG Top 8 cam­paigns.

Li­oli will face Bu­run­dian side Vi­tal’ô Foot­ball Club in the two-legged pre­lim­i­nary round of the CAF Cham­pi­ons League in Fe­bru­ary.

“He (Kue­nane) is a hard work­ing player and has been train­ing in prepa­ra­tion for the start of the se­cond round of the premier league and the tough fix­tures ahead of us,” Mokhothu said.

“I can say for cer­tain that he is an im­por­tant com­po­nent in our plans, and all he –– and the other goal­keep­ers –– need to do is work hard to se­cure the first choice po­si­tion.

“We are go­ing to need all our ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers in or­der to de­fend the league ti­tle, do well in Africa and also try and win the Top 8.”

Li­oli pres­i­dent, Le­bo­hang Thotanyana, echoed the coach’s sen­ti­ments, say­ing Kue­nane was not go­ing any­where de­spite ru­mours link­ing him with a move to ri­vals Bantu.

A Matšo Mate­bele, as Bantu is af­fec­tion­ately known, de­cided to part ways with their first choice goal­keeper, Kholuoe Pha­sumane, who has been trans­fer-listed by the club along with five other play­ers al­legedly be­cause of ill-dis­ci­pline.

“There has never been a (trans­fer) is­sue with Kue­nane. He is con­tracted to Li­oli and has a long-term deal with us. He is one of our se­nior play­ers and has a big role to play con­sid­er­ing the busy sched­ule we have in Africa and do­mes­ti­cally,” Thotanyana said.

The Li­oli boss said he would also iron out is­sues with mid­fielder Thuso Sup­ing, who is re­port­edly un­set­tled at the club.

“I think the mat­ter was blown out of pro­por­tion be­cause I had talked with the player and will meet him again to map a way for­ward,” said Thotanyana.

“I think the claims that Thuso Sup­ing is un­set­tled were a re­sult of him strug­gling to cope with pres­sure, es­pe­cially af­ter he missed a penalty in the In­de­pen­dence Cup fi­nal against Bantu. But he is ok now.”

Thotanyana, who is also Min­ing min­is­ter, ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the progress Tse Nala made in the first round of the sea­son by fin­ish­ing at the top of the league.

“The team has been per­form­ing well and we were able to over­come a poor run of re­sults dur­ing the first round. We are now look­ing for­ward to the se­cond round,” he said.

Li­oli shot-stop­per Mo­hau kue­nane (left) pre­pares to catch the ball in this file pic­ture.

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