Matlama coach Moses Maliehe has called on his troops to be consistent as Tse Putsoa prepare to face Rovers in a Vodacom Premier League match set for Machabeng stadium on Saturday.
The Sea Point outfit lost to LDF last Saturday in the first leg of the LNIG Top8 quarterfinal and Maliehe says he is worried by his charges’ failure to maintain their winning form.
Matlama are second on the 14-team premiership table on 29 points, while pacesetters Lioli are on 33 points and third-placed LCS have accumulated 26. All the teams have played 14 matches and are left with 12 fixtures before the season comes to a close.
“The inconsistency shown by the players over the past month is worrying, to say the least. We needed to talk about it as a team, which we did, so I am expecting a different performance going forward, starting with the Rovers match. Such erratic performances will not be tolerated and the players are now fully aware of this,” Maliehe said.
According to Maliehe, the nine-time league champions cannot afford to lose points as they need to keep pace with title-holders Lioli.
“This is going to be a completely different ball-game and I expect the team to show what they are made of because more poor results will not be tolerated for a club of Matlama’s stature,” said Maliehe .
“We have put the loss to LDF behind us and are now focusing on Rovers because they are a different team; they are a different challenge.
“Our players need to understand what they represent and what Matlama stands for as a club; they must think of the supporters who always come in big numbers to watch them.
“The target is to be right there in the league race and that can only happen if we win matches.”
Matlama and Rovers played to a goalless draw in the first round fixture in the university team’s first match since returning to topflight football.
And according to Rovers coach, Pule Khojane, Matlama would not have it easy as his team is also desperate for points following a string of poor results towards the end of the season’s first round in December.
“We had a goal-scoring problem in the first round and I want to believe it has been resolved with the signing of a new attacker,” Khojane said.
“My hope is we can rise to the occasion come Saturday and capitalise on Matlama’s weaknesses.
“We are aware of their inconsistency so far this season, but again, you cannot bank on this because they might be a different side on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, defending league champions Lioli, are only in action on Sunday and travel to Butha-Buthe to face Sundawana.
The two teams played each other last weekend with Tse Nala winning the match 4-1 in the LNIG Top8 quarterfinal first-leg match.
Sunday’s other match will see LCS hosting Kick4Life, who have reinforced their squad with former Likuena defender, Thabo Masualle, who joined the Leslie Notši-coached side from Bantu.
Also on Sunday, Linare will have a chance to parade their new players when they take on Likhopo. Linare made seven new signings on the last day of the transfer window last Friday, among them Maoela Mangana and Kholuoe Phasumane from Bantu.
Bantu are also in action on Sunday against police side LMPS whose only win this season was against the Mafeteng-based outfit in the opening match of the season.
Full fixtures at a glance
Saturday: Rovers v Matlama, Likila United v Liphakoe, Mphatlalatsane v LDF.
Sunday: Kick4Life v LCS, Bantu v LMPS, Sundawana v Lioli, Likhopo v Linare.