‘No alarm bells for Linare’

‘No alarm bells for Linare’

Luciah Phahla
Maseru – Linare communications and marketing manager Refiloe Makhobotloane is certain the Hlotse giants are not headed to the A-Division.
‘Tse Tala’ are 11th in the 14-team Vodacom Premier League, just three points above the relegation zone. They have collected just five points in seven games, winning once and losing four times.
Linare’s woes were further compounded last week by the resignation of popular coach Motlatsi Shale which prompted a brief player protest.
However, Makhobotloane insisted things inside the Linare camp are not as bad as they seem.
Speaking on Tuesday, Makhobotloane also contended that Linare’s squad is improved from the group that barely survived relegation last season.
He said it is too early to press any panic buttons.
“It’s still early to be honest, we have only played seven games,” Makhobotloane told thepost.
“We lost against Matlama and Lioli. Both games were really tough and we were overwhelmed but we are not that bad. One thing that I can see is this season we have a much better team compared to last season. It’s just that things happened such as the coach resigning.”
A buoyant Makhobotloane also gave a vote of confidence to Teboho Shopeng and None Mohapi who have stepped in to lead ‘Tse Tala’ after Shale’s departure.
He said the duo is working hard to steady Linare’s ship.
In addition, Makhobotloane said the club is doing all it can to empower players in an attempt to boost confidence within the squad.
“What we have done is to encourage the players to work hard and impress the new coaches and learn their style of play,” he said.
He added: “It is the same with work. If a manager leaves, would you leave because you don’t know the new manager that is coming in? No, you stay, work hard and impress him. Again, we are talking to the players to accept some of the things because some decisions they
cannot overturn. There are changes everywhere; it’s something the players, managers and the supporters have to accept. When changes are made it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.”
Reflecting on the club’s recent woes which included players reportedly boycotting training in the wake of Shale’s resignation, Makhobotloane contended that reports of turmoil were blown out of proportion.
He emphasised the “club comes first before everything else”.
“Linare is an old club, it has been here since 1931 and is celebrating its 86th anniversary this year, some of us were not born even at that time. The club comes first before everything, and what we are doing now is to empower our players to be strong,” Makhobotloane explained.
“This Sunday we have a supporters meeting,” he said. “The management will be meeting with supporters and we will be talking about the way forward from here now with the supporters.”
‘Tse Tala’ will not be in action this weekend due to the Independence Cup. Linare’s next league game is next Sunday when they host Butha-Buthe Warriors.

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