Linare puts faith in Ntšonyana

Linare puts faith in Ntšonyana

Maseru – Fallen Vodacom Premier League giants Linare are hoping the experience of former Liphakoe coach Teele Ntšonyana will help them escape relegation this season.
Linare, who won league titles in 1979 and 1980 but are trophy-less since 1999, find themselves stuck in 11th place in the 14-team Vodacom premiership. ‘Tse Tala’ have lost their last five matches in a row and haven’t tasted victory since beating Liphakoe in November.

Speaking yesterday, the club’s communications and marketing manager, Refiloe Makhobotloane, admitted Linare are not safe from the chop which is why they moved quickly to hire Ntšonyana who left Liphakoe last month.

Linare had been under the caretaker charge of Teboho Shopeng and None Mohapi since Motlatsi Shale resigned in October.
“We realised that we are not doing well in the league even though we do play well,” Makhobotloane said.
“We are also looking at our future and we are hoping with Ntšonyana’s experience and the experience of our already existing technical team, they will work together to help the club,” he underlined.

Linare, who have never been relegated from Lesotho’s top-flight, have 14 points from 18 games. Rovers, in 12th position, have 11 points and Likhopo, who occupy the final relegation spot, are only two points further back. Both Rovers and Likhopo have played a game less than Linare and Makhobotloane said the Hlotse outfit are aware they will be in danger if any of the sides below them string together a run of results.

“Of course we are worried,” he said.
“We can see that we are not safe at all hence why we need Ntšonyana’s experience and the technical team that he will be working with. He is well known in Lesotho football and he is one of the most experienced coaches in the country,” Makhobotloane added.

Ntšonyana mutually parted ways with Liphakoe at the beginning of January after a dip in form.  However, the former Lesotho striker is still revered in Quthing after masterminding Liphakoe’s promotion to the Vodacom Premier League in 2014 and Makhobotloane said Linare are hoping Ntšonyana can steer them away from the drop zone and prepare the team for next season.

However, Makhobotloane confessed the club’s perilous finances have made it difficult to keep the squad motivated.
“Players’ motivation is money and as a club we are working towards improving the situation because we do have a good team. We just needed an experienced coach to work with the players,” he said.

Ntšonyana has already started work at ‘Tse Tala’.
He will have ample time to mould his new charges because Linare are not involved in the Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 quarterfinals which take centre stage this weekend. Linare will return to action next Sunday with a must-win league tie against Butha-Buthe Warriors.

Luciah Phahla

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