MASERU — Bantu coach Tšehla Lerotholi has revealed the secret to his side’s title challenge – no pressure.
A Matšo Matebele face a stern test of their championship credentials against deposed champions Matlama on Saturday.
A win in the crunch match in Mafeteng would see Bantu touch the summit of the league as the season reaches its climax.
Bantu are third on the Vodacom Premier League log with 45 points, tied with second-placed LCS and three behind leaders LDF.
The Mafeteng side however have played a game more than their rivals.
It makes Saturday’s game vital to Bantu’s title chances.
However, although Lerotholi acknowledged the game’s importance, he said the pressure wasn’t on Bantu.
“It’s very important. I think we are settled in the top four now but the league is still wide open,” Lerotholi told the Lesotho Times yesterday.
“I haven’t put the players under pressure. I have said ‘guys, let’s remove the pressure’ that is why we have been winning lately.”
Bantu however haven’t beaten Matlama since their return to the premier league in 2009. Tse Putsoa swept Bantu last season, winning 2-1 in Mafeteng and 2-0 in the return in Maseru.
Earlier this season in January Matlama beat A Matšo Matebele 1-0 at the Central Prison thanks to a Pali Tšalong strike.
Bantu have cause for optimism though. Matlama’s season has petered out badly and the club is seemingly lacking direction.
Bantu also have a wonderful home record; they have picked up more points at home, 27, than any other side.
“Matlama beat us because of our mistakes last time around,” Lerotholi said.
Last Saturday Bantu beat Maduma 2-1 in Khukhune thanks to goals from Mpho Matsinyane and Tlali Maile.
Saturday’s result will almost set the tone for the rest of the weekend’s action.
On Sunday LDF and LCS are in action with Masheshena hosting rivals LMPS at the Central Prison.
LDF makes the journey to Hlotse to face fourth-placed Linare.
Before that though all eyes though will be on Mafeteng and Bantu’s game with Matlama.
“Our focus is on our next game, not on what other teams are doing,” Lerotholi said.
“Our aim is to collect nine points from our remaining games. Anything is still possible.”