Matete faces axe

Matete faces axe

Maseru – Matlama head coach Seephephe Matete is facing the sack just two games into the new Econet Premier League season, thepost has learnt.
Despite starting the campaign with high hopes, Matlama’s season is already in crisis after a loss and draw in their opening two games.
‘Tse Putsoa’ began the season with a shock 1-0 loss to Liphakoe two weeks ago and followed it up by scraping a 1-1 draw with Linare last weekend.
Their poor start has put Matete under immediate pressure from the club’s fans and thepost understands Matlama’s executive committee met with Matete and issued an ultimatum to improve results over the next few games or face the axe.

“The results have not been forthcoming,” said one member of the team who asked not to be named.
“If you remember, (Matete) came at a time when we were in a lot of trouble and I still believe had it been anyone else appointed not him, that person would have quit a long time ago. At that time we had just lost Mos (Moses Maliehe) to the national team and got three points deducted, that’s how difficult it was.”
Matete was appointed Matlama coach last December after the departure of Moses Maliehe to take charge of the national side, Likuena.
Matete arrived with the ten-time league champions in seventh place and reeling after being docked three points for crowd violence.
He was given a mandate to finish in the top four and challenge for the Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 honours.

‘Tse Putsoa’ also said they expected to contest for the league this season in the coach’s first full campaign in charge.
However, Matlama’s fortunes haven’t improved. They only won four of 14 league games under Matete last season and, after the side’s dismal opening day performance against Liphakoe, the committee met to discuss the coach’s future.

“It has been difficult for him but that’s football and we all know what happens when results are not coming,” the team member said.
“The performance against Linare was really promising until we got a red card for Khotso Molulela in the second half and that changed everything. But one thing that we know is that the supporters are not happy, no one affiliated with Matlama is happy at the moment,” the source said.
“The executive committee have talked to him and made him aware that if the results are not coming they will have to part ways. It’s football,” the source continued.

Matlama supporters have already vented their frustrations at the team’s lacklustre displays this season and there were further complaints in Maputsoe against Linare. Sources say Matlama’s bigwigs want to act fast to avoid any violence from fans. Supporters say their anger stems from their belief ‘Tse Putsoa’ made good off-season signings to add to an already talented squad. They believe the Pitso Ground side is strong enough to challenge for silverware this season and end a seven-year trophy drought.

‘Tse Putsoa’ added several players ahead of this season including Congolese striker Nzenze Nkulu who struck 17 league goals last term for Linare.
However, Matlama have also battled with the fitness of key players. Jane Thaba-Ntšo and Motete Mohai, for example, only resumed light training on Tuesday and it is unclear if they will be fit for Sunday’s Econet premiership clash against Sky Battalion.

Luciah Phahla

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