Liphakoe will surprise many – Marai

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Moorosi Tsiane

LIPHAKOE coach Mpitsa Marai has warned that his side will surprise many this season despite its slow start to the 2020/21 Vodacom Premier League season.

Marai’s charges have been flirting with relegation and went into the lockdown break sitting 12th in the 16-team log table with one win from four matches.

Liphakoe began their campaign with a 0-1 loss to debutants Manonyane before succumbing to the 3-1 loss to LCS. They went on to win 3-1 over Swallows before going back to their losing ways with a 0-1 loss to Matlama.

However, despite their slow start, Marai said they would soon surprise their opponents.

“It is still early for us to be panicking and I don’t think we have had such a bad start given that we lost against LCS and Matlama, who are both big teams,” Marai said.

“Although we lost, we still performed so well.

“Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go and I believe in our squad. We will surprise many teams this season.”

He said it was positive that despite the losses, they still created chances.

“We were the better team in all the matches that we played. We created chances but unfortunately, we were not clinical and ended up losing matches that we could have won. In both the Manonyane and the Matlama matches, we created chances that we should have buried and won those matches.”

The former Likuena defender said their biggest challenge was their slim squad given their congested fixtures list.

“Some of our players don’t have their licenses yet, so we had a thin squad that had to play many matches within a short space of time… We have been using almost the same squad for all the matches, except where injuries forced us to rotate. Signs of fatigue have always shown in the matches.”

Marai said his side was turning the corner when a lockdown was imposed a fortnight ago to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“For the first time this season, during the week that matches were suspend we managed to have all players reporting for training but unfortunately, the lockdown was then imposed. Despite that, the team that had been playing was improving as players were beginning to understand how they were expected to play,” Marai said.

 

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