Maliehe ral­lies ‘in­con­sis­tent’ Mat­lama

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

MAT­LAMA coach Moses Maliehe has called on his troops to be con­sis­tent as Tse Put­soa pre­pare to face Rovers in a Vo­da­com Premier League match set for Mach­abeng sta­dium on Satur­day.

The Sea Point out­fit lost to LDF last Satur­day in the first leg of the LNIG Top8 quar­ter­fi­nal and Maliehe says he is wor­ried by his charges’ fail­ure to main­tain their win­ning form.

Mat­lama are se­cond on the 14-team premier­ship ta­ble on 29 points, while pace­set­ters Li­oli are on 33 points and third-placed LCS have ac­cu­mu­lated 26. All the teams have played 14 matches and are left with 12 fix­tures be­fore the sea­son comes to a close.

“The in­con­sis­tency shown by the play­ers over the past month is wor­ry­ing, to say the least. We needed to talk about it as a team, which we did, so I am ex­pect­ing a dif­fer­ent per­for­mance go­ing for­ward, start­ing with the Rovers match. Such er­ratic per­for­mances will not be tol­er­ated and the play­ers are now fully aware of this,” Maliehe said.

Ac­cord­ing to Maliehe, the nine-time league cham­pi­ons can­not af­ford to lose points as they need to keep pace with ti­tle-hold­ers Li­oli.

“This is go­ing to be a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ball­game and I ex­pect the team to show what they are made of be­cause more poor re­sults will not be tol­er­ated for a club of Mat­lama’s stature,” said Maliehe .

“We have put the loss to LDF be­hind us and are now fo­cus­ing on Rovers be­cause they are a dif­fer­ent team; they are a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge.

“Our play­ers need to un­der­stand what they rep­re­sent and what Mat­lama stands for as a club; they must think of the sup­port­ers who al­ways come in big num­bers to watch them.

“The tar­get is to be right there in the league race and that can only hap­pen if we win matches.”

Mat­lama and Rovers played to a goal­less draw in the first round fix­ture in the univer­sity team’s first match since re­turn­ing to topflight foot­ball.

And ac­cord­ing to Rovers coach, Pule Kho­jane, Mat­lama would not have it easy as his team is also des­per­ate for points fol­low­ing a string of poor re­sults to­wards the end of the sea­son’s first round in De­cem­ber.

“We had a goal-scor­ing prob­lem in the first round and I want to be­lieve it has been re­solved with the sign­ing of a new at­tacker,” Kho­jane said.

“My hope is we can rise to the oc­ca­sion come Satur­day and cap­i­talise on Mat­lama’s weak­nesses.

“We are aware of their in­con­sis­tency so far this sea­son, but again, you can­not bank on this be­cause they might be a dif­fer­ent side on Satur­day.”

Mean­while, de­fend­ing league cham­pi­ons Li­oli, are only in ac­tion on Sun­day and travel to Butha-buthe to face Sun­dawana.

The two teams played each other last week­end with Tse Nala win­ning the match 4-1 in the LNIG Top8 quar­ter­fi­nal first-leg match.

Sun­day’s other match will see LCS host­ing Kick­4life, who have re­in­forced their squad with for­mer Likuena de­fender, Thabo Ma­su­alle, who joined the Les­lie Notši-coached side from Bantu.

Also on Sun­day, Linare will have a chance to pa­rade their new play­ers when they take on Likhopo. Linare made seven new sign­ings on the last day of the trans­fer win­dow last Fri­day, among them Maoela Man­gana and Kholuoe Pha­sumane from Bantu.

Bantu are also in ac­tion on Sun­day against po­lice side LMPS whose only win this sea­son was against the Mafeteng-based out­fit in the open­ing match of the sea­son.

Full fix­tures at a glance Satur­day: Rovers v Mat­lama, Lik­ila United v Liphakoe, Mphat­lalat­sane v LDF.

Sun­day: Kick­4life v LCS, Bantu v LMPS, Sun­dawana v Li­oli, Likhopo v Linare.

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