Linare insist they have not fired head-coach Lebajoa Mphongoa but only suspended him to pave the way for an inquest into the team’s poor performance.
Mphongoa was not on the bench when Linare lost 2-1 to LDF at Ratjomose Ground on Sunday, prompting speculation he had been dismissed.
But according to Linare public relations officer, Refiles Makhobotloane, the coach had been asked to explain the team’s dismal run and not report for training until further notice.
Tse Tala have won three, drawn one and lost six of their league matches so far this season, and are 10th on the 14-team premiership table.
Makhobotloane told the Lesotho Times on Tuesday: “He (Mphongoa) remains our coach and has only been suspended to give him time to explain the team’s struggles. If he had been fired, then a new coach would have taken over.”
Mokhobotloane further said Linare appreciate the former Bloemfontein Celtic and Likuena striker’s role at the club, hence the decision to give him an opportunity to explain what could be the reason behind the dismal form.
“Our coach is very passionate about his job. He is disciplined and has never given us any problem. We just want to get to the bottom of what could be the reason behind the poor form and chart the way forward.
“If he feels the problem lies with us, as management, then we need to know because we already have the players’ side of the story.
“The other problem is he has failed to introduce our own style of play and his formations have not been consistent,” said Mokhobotloane.
According to Mokhobotloane, the club would only decide Mphongoa’s fate after the coach submits his report and both parties debate the issue.
“The decision whether he stays or goes will only be taken once he has provided us with the report and we have discussed it, and like I said, for now, he remains the head-coach of the team,” Mokhobotloane said.
“In the meantime, his assistant, Papiki Khahloe, will be in charge of the team as we thrash out this issue with the coach.”
Meanwhile, after Linare handed LDF their first win of the season, they face Bantu at home this weekend, in what promises to be a humdinger of a match. Bantu have been on a roll over the past three weeks, beating powerhouse Lioli twice and Rovers to reclaim their status as one of the giants of domestic football.
The team had struggled for form this season, leading to the sacking of coach Katiso Mojakhomo just five matches into the campaign. Bantu were 10th on the table when Mojakhomo was shown the door but are now fifth on the Vodacom Premier League table on 14 points—five behind pacesetters Matlama. Both teams have played eight league matches so far this season.