Madidilane vows to crush Matlama

Madidilane vows to crush Matlama

Luciah Phahla

Maseru– Bantu coach James Madidilane says his side wants to beat Matlama “at all costs” on Saturday.

‘A Matšo Matebele’ are top of the Vodacom Premier League and a win would open a four-point gap ahead of nearest challengers Lioli and Kick4Life because Saturday’s tie is a left over game-in-hand from the first round.

And, Bantu would appear to be facing Matlama at the perfect time.
‘Tse Putsoa’ have not won in five outings and go into Saturday’s game at Setsoto Stadium under a new coach.

However, despite Madidilane’s rallying cry for three points, he insisted Matlama will not be an easy proposition, regardless of their poor form. “We want to win at all costs but it is not going to be easy for us, they have a new coach and obviously the players will be looking to impress him,” Madidilane said. “The fact that they haven’t been playing well makes them even more dangerous because they want to turn things around and we cannot underestimate them. Their poor run does not give us any advantage at all,” he added.

Madidilane also dismissed the notion Bantu are under pressure to take advantage of the game in hand against Matlama. He said the Mafeteng giants approach every game with one goal: to win. “In every game we play, we always want to win and to get three points,” the South African coach said.

“Of course, now with our position on top, we want to extend the lead, but Matlama are also coming into this game looking for the same thing which is three points. So, we will treat it like any other game we have played before and our approach is the same: play to win,” he said.

Because Saturday’s crunch clash is a rescheduled tie from the first round it will be played just a week into the New Year while other teams are in action next weekend when the second round officially begins.

It means both Bantu and Matlama will have had less time to prepare. Madidilane, however, said they always knew this game was coming and his players are preparing thoroughly for the match. “There is no right or wrong time in football,” he said. “Of course, we are coming from a long Christmas break but we have to win and we know every team that plays Bantu goes all out to win.”

Matlama vs. Bantu head-to-head
17/04/16: Matlama 2-0 Bantu
12/12/15: Bantu 0-1 Matlama
06/04/15: Bantu 1-0 Matlama
08/11/14: Matlama 0-0 Bantu
29/03/14: Matlama 0-1 Bantu
20/10/13: Bantu 2-0 Matlama
12/05/13: Matlama 1-1 Bantu
15/09/12: Bantu 3-0 Matlama
11/03/12: Bantu 2-1 Matlama
18/09/11: Matlama 0-2 Bantu

While log leaders Bantu go into the game with some consistency, for Matlama there is uncertainty.
The match against Bantu is the first in charge for new ‘Tse Putsoa’ coach Seephephe “Mochini” Matete since his appointment three weeks ago and he admitted Saturday’s game has come too soon for him as a coach because he has had a limited time with his players.
Nevertheless, he expressed full confidence in his players.
Matete said regardless of the timing of the match, it is crucial for ‘Tse Putsoa’ to win and improve their seventh place on the Vodacom Premier League log.
“For the team, yes, the game has come at the right time, but for me as the coach I don’t think it came at the right time as I have only had a week with the players. But, the three points against Bantu is the same as three points against (Butha-Buthe) Warriors, it is the same as three points against any other team,” Matete said.
“Obviously Matlama needs three points from this game and to move from where we are now.”

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