TOP FOur BAt­tLE IN­tEN­sI­fiEs

Sunday Express - - SPORT -

Sun­dawaanaun­dawana coach, Bob Mafoso, saysssays his charges can­not af­forda af­ford any slip-up when they hosth­host Likhopo in a Vo­da­com Premier League top-fouur top-four fin­ish bat­tle in Ma­put­soe this affter­noon. af­ter­noon. The ButhaButheB Buthe based out­fito out­fit are fourth on the 14-team ta­ble with 35 points while Ban­tu­utu are fifth with 32, and Kick­4Li­ife Kick­4Life and Likhopo oc­cupy sixth and seeventh seventh po­si­tions with 31 and 30 pointss points re­spec­tively. Mafoso on Fri­day toldt told the Sun­day Ex­press they are fight­ting fight­ing to fin­ish the sea­son in the top fourr four and could only achieve this mis­sion byy by win­ning matches. “we are now ap­proacch­ing ap­proach­ing the end of the sea­son and th­ese are those times when the com­pe­ti­tion is so high be­cause teams are fight­ing for dif­fer­ent things. we are play­ing Likhopo on Sun­day and we are aware that they also fight­ing for a top-four fin­ish so we can’t af­ford any slip-ups be­cause of thhose those sides be­low us on the ta­ble which har­bor the same am­bi­tion,” Mafoso saaid. said. Sun­dawana have not been play­ing in the sec­ond roound round of the sea­son and Mafoso saaid said this lethargy should not con­tin­uee. con­tinue. “Like I have said,saidd, it has be­come tougher in the sec­cond sec­ond round but we are lucky be­cau­use be­cause we col­lected more points in the firstfi first round. But we have to get maax­i­mum max­i­mum points now so we are go­ing to this match des­per­a­tee des­per­ate for a re­sult to ce­ment our placce place on the ta­ble,” he said. Mafoso high­llight­ed­high­lighted why his charges have strug­gleds strug­gled for re­sults in the sec­oond sec­ond round of the cam­paign. “I think too manny many things hap­pened be­cause when we fin­ished the first round (in De­cem­ber), there were some signs of fa­tigue among the play­ers. we had a rest dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son but un­for­tu­nately, we started the sec­ond round with matches against the top guns and lost. That re­ally af­fected us men­tally; the con­fi­dence was down but we have worked on this now and hope­fully, things will be okay.

“The other thing is some key play­ers were out due to in­jury while oth­ers would not be avail­able be­cause of work com­mit­ments,” said Mafoso.

He con­tin­ued: “we have been talk­ing with the play­ers and they now un­der­stand what is at stake here. we now go into ev­ery match like it is a Cup fi­nal be­cause one mis­take, we are out of the top-four run­ning. we can’t ex­pect other teams to work for us and win against our com­peti­tors; we have to fight our own bat­tles.”

Likhopo in­terim coach Tšeliso Mo­folo also said los­ing to­day’s match is out of the ques­tion.

“Our prepa­ra­tions were good the whole week and this is an im­por­tant match for us be­cause we are des­per­ate for points as we are aim­ing to end the sea­son in at least the top four,” Mo­folo said.

“The play­ers are all in good shape and we spoke with them to mo­ti­vate them af­ter their coach left last week.

“Max­i­mum points is the only thing we need now and we are go­ing all out on Sun­day against Sun­dawana,” said Mo­folo.

In other league matches set for to­day, Bantu wel­come rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened Linare at LCS Ground while Mphat­lalat­sane face LMPS in a rel­e­ga­tion dog­fight at Ma­put­soe dIFa sta­dium to com­plete the day’s dou­ble-header at the venue.

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