Topsy-turvy battle at the bottom

Topsy-turvy battle at the bottom

MASERU-The relegation battle has rarely been this interesting.
With the second round of the Econet Premier League season underway, there are three teams at the foot of the table fighting tooth and nail to avoid the top-flight’s two tickets down to the A-Division.
Majantja, Swallows and Galaxy are the three teams at risk and only one will survive the drop.

Galaxy head coach Thabang Busa hopes and believes his side will be the one to avoid the axe at the end of the season.
Despite the newly-promoted Maputsoe outfit being rooted to the bottom of the league, they are only two points behind Majantja who are in 12th place and occupy the coveted final spot of safety.
Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS), Sefotha-fotha and Linare are ninth, 10th and 11th respectively on the log with 16 points each; they are a bit further off, but Busa insists if Galaxy can collect at least six points from their remaining January schedule it will dramatically change their fortunes.

Those points would be a welcome relief for a Galaxy side that has plummeted after an encouraging start to the season which saw Busa’s as high as 10th place after the first two months of the campaign.
Galaxy, however, have lost their last five matches and their last win came on November 11 – a 2-0 victory over relegation rivals Swallows.
The causes for their demise originate both on and off the field.

On the field, Galaxy have struggled to close out games in what is their first-ever season in Lesotho’s top-flight.
Each of their past five defeats have been by just one goal. In fact, the only team that has managed to beat Galaxy by a two-goal margin is log leaders Lesotho Correctional Service and that was back in the second week of the season, a 3-1 loss on September 22.

Off the field, Galaxy have also been hampered by reported financial disagreements which caused the technical staff to miss the team’s last two league games, both 1-0 losses to high-flying Kick4Life and Lesotho Defence Force.
Busa said in order for Galaxy climb out of their predicament, the club needs to work together.
“We are struggling and we have been experiencing problems since December. The games against Kick4Life and Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) we played without a technical team. However (on Monday) we started training as a team and we have been working hard,” Busa said.

“We are building oneness in the team and that is the only way we can get out of this situation,” he added.
Busa said Galaxy found themselves in a similarly difficult situation during the 2015/16 season while in the A-Division but they managed to claw their way out.
He called for his side to draw motivation from that experience and fight to stay in the premier league even though the odds are against them.

“We have fought relegation before and that season (2015/16) it’s Maduma that went down and we stayed in the A-Division,” Busa said.
“The following season we were challenging for the top spot but we finished in second place so we have been in this situation before and I am confident we will get out because even if you look at the goals conceded, we have conceded less than the teams above us.

“All we have to do is to win our games. If we can get six points (in our coming games) we will climb up the table,” he said, adding that Galaxy will be looking to bring in new faces to bolster the squad before the close of the January transfer window.
Busa has been vocal about his desire to change people’s perception of so-called small teams by retaining Galaxy’s spot in the Econet premiership.

If the Maputsoe outfit do succeed in maintaining their status it will be a huge achievement for the coach and his team because newly-promoted teams normally tend to struggle in the top-flight before eventually going back to the A-Division.
To survive, though, Galaxy have a mountain to climb.

Tlalane Phahla

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