Kick4Life in dreamland

Kick4Life in dreamland

Luciah Phahla

Maseru – Kick4Life coach Leslie Notši has praised his players for adapting to the pressure of being at the top ahead of their crucial year-ending Vodacom Premier League clash against Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) on Saturday.
Only promoted to the top-flight in 2014, Kick4Life are suddenly a marked team after an excellent start to the season.

Notši’s team has collected an impressive 26 points from 12 games.
They are second in the league and only behind leaders Lioli on goal difference.
Their form has led to Kick4Life being billed as title contenders but Notši insisted Kick4Life are still a “small team that is growing” and he praised his charges for maintaining their focus.
“We have sessions where we deal with managing the position (we are in). I think the players have done well in that regard of managing the pressure of being on top,” Notši told thepost on Tuesday.

He added: “As a small team that is growing there are lot of things that we need to go through for our growth and the boys have shown maturity on and off the field. Teams are competing (against us) in a serious manner.”

Kick4Life go into this weekend’s tie against LMPS looking to return to winning ways after a 1-1 draw with Matlama last Saturday.
The result saw Kick4Life concede top spot for the first time in two months and is part of a dip during which they have won once in three games.

It is a run that includes a 4-1 humbling by Lioli three weeks ago.
Kick4Life felt hard-done-by again against Matlama after taking the lead through Bokang Mothoana only to see Tšeliso Ramathe grab an agonising late equaliser for ‘Tse Putsoa’.
Notši bemoaned dropping points but praised his team’s display.
“I think it was both a case of the guys losing concentration and at the same time giving credit to Matlama because they came back and put pressure on us and at the end they managed to get an equaliser,” he said.

“The boys were motivated and the technical team encouraged them to impose themselves because it is only in games against bigger teams like Matlama that players can show that they have got what it takes,” he added.
“They imposed themselves well. There was a lot of creativity in terms of goal scoring opportunities and defensively they did very well including the goalkeeper. I was quite satisfied with the game.”

With Lioli on a four-match winning streak and third-placed Bantu breathing down their necks, Notši stressed the need to finish the first round on a high note.
He also highlighted the importance of scoring as many goals as possible.
Although Kick4Life have notched 24 goals this season, second only to Lioli’s tally of 25, the former Lesotho national coach said his charges need to continue to work on their finishing.
Notši said Kick4Life create a lot of goal-scoring opportunities but their finishing is letting them down especially when goal difference may end up being a factor at the end of the season.

“We would like to end (the first round) on a high note; it will be good for the players and the team. However, we are focused on the next game,” Notši said.
He continued: “It is very important to score as many goals as we can.
Every week we have a session where we work on goal-scoring, finishing and trying to give our players all the possible variations and situations in the attacking third.”
“If you look at our stats, during the games we have lot of attempts. We do create attempts to score goals, now what we need to work on is being clinical. That what’s football is all about, scoring goals.”

“Defensively we should do better and there is still room for improvement. We will work with the technical team on how best they can work on that,” he added.
Notši said Kick4Life are right where they want to be heading into the Christmas break.
“We are where we actually wanted to be which was to be in the mixture of the top four teams,” he said.

“Being on top was an icing on the cake but just being in the top four is a very good achievement. The boys deserve a pat on the back, they have been brilliant. Hopefully in the second round they will soldier on and express themselves in terms of showing hunger and the will to win.”

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