Lioli back on track

Lioli back on track

MASERU  – Lioli head coach Morena Ramorebodi insists there is still a lot of work to do for ‘Tse Nala’ despite their recent upturn in form.
The Teyateyaneng giants have won their last two matches to ease the pressure on the South African coach.
Two weeks ago ‘Tse Nala’ produced a stirring comeback to beat Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) 2-1 on aggregate in the Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 quarterfinals and on Sunday beat Liphakoe 2-0 in the league.

The results have put Lioli’s trophy hopes back on track with ‘Tse Nala’ one point behind Bantu in the Econet Premier League title race and set to face Matlama in the LNIG Top 8 semi-finals next month. Ramorebodi, however, said Lioli cannot afford to rest on their laurels. In fact, this weekend’s international break comes at the wrong time, he said. Lioli have Mafa Moremoholo, Kopano Tseka and Tumelo Khutlang in the Lesotho squad to face Botswana and Namibia and there will be no league action this weekend.

Ramorebodi said the break is not ideal but ‘Tse Nala’ will continue to go through their paces to polish tactics.
“Although some players are with the national team that now we will be working with those are left. But it’s not enough just to train, you have to play games to see if things you are working on are improving or not and with international breaks, sometimes players’ minds shift but we will continue to work,” he said.

‘Tse Nala’ endured a difficult start to the new year after making several changes to the technical team which saw Ramorebodi taking over from Motebang Makhetha who had been in caretaker charge since October last year.
Lioli lost three of Ramorebodi’s first six games in charge and only won game.

After losing the first leg of the LNIG Top 8 quarterfinals to LMPS, Lioli fans grew frustrated while rumours of a rift within the squad started swirling forcing the club’s management to back Ramorebodi publicly saying it is normal for a team to struggle under a new technical staff.
For now things seem to be slowly going in the right direction but Ramorebodi said Lioli are working hard to ensure they find an identity for their play.
“We still have a lot to work on. It’s true when you look back we were losing but let’s see how we lost. There are certain things we need to work on, we must have the understanding of why we attack when we do, and why we defend when we do,” he said.

Lioli made several changes to the squad in the January transfer window bringing in six players and, after struggling initially, Ramorebodi said he believes the new faces are beginning to gel with the rest of the team. One of the signings has stood out, however – the South African striker, Tseko Lekata.

Lekata has struck twice since joining Lioli and was on the scoresheet in the weekend’s 2-0 win over Liphakoe.
“I think they are coming right. Tseko Lekata is the one that has been more influential but we are also giving others a chance and giving them few minutes,” Ramorebodi said.

He added: “The competition is high in the Lioli squad and I think every player that puts on the jersey understands what is required of him and sees the importance of playing for each other.”

Luciah Phahla

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