Senong bemoans lack of goals
LIKUENA coach Thabo Senong has bemoaned the lack of goals as his side prepares for the make or break CHAN qualifier against Zimbabwe at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday.
Senong’s comments come on the back of Likuena’s 1-1 draw with Malawi at Setsoto Stadium last Sunday. Hlompho Kalake scored from the spot in the second half but the goal was cancelled by Hassan Kajoke a few minutes later.
Lesotho created numerous chances but failed to convert and Senong says this is one area his side must work on as they prepare for the Warriors clash.
Zimbabwe goes into the Sunday match with an upper hand after winning the first leg 3-1 in Harare last month.
“Malawi brought their best possible squad and we thank them for that because that gave us the real test that we needed to prepare for the important match against Zimbabwe,” Senong said.
“However, like in previous matches; we created chances but our forwards were not clinical. I knew that Malawi would punish us for the chances that we missed. We take it as a lesson that the players must focus until the last whistle.”
He said the lack of goals was evident from the domestic league and was now reflecting on the national team.
“This is a massive challenge because it starts at the clubs and also reflects on the national team. The biggest number of goals comes from dead ball situations and that tells you that we have a deficiency in the attacking third.
“We must work hard in this department and instill confidence in our forwards so that they can be brave enough to hold the ball and make the right decisions. We must encourage them to convert the chances that we create.”
The former South Africa under-20 mentor believes they can still surprise Zimbabwe on Sunday but they must work hard.
“I believe we can still surprise Zimbabwe; we just must work hard and start scoring. We must also work hard to build the players’ confidence in the attacking third.
“We will now go back and debrief, do a post mortem of our performance, work on our weaknesses and see what we did right and build on that.
“Our ambition is to qualify for this tournament but we know that we are not playing in a vacuum. We are playing against other teams that have the same vision and we must respect and plan well against them.
“We are going to study our opponents then the line-up will be decided based on the players’ mentally readiness and how they respond to our training sessions. The mentality is improving and I am hoping that we improve with each match.
“We must believe in our players, motivate them, give them confidence; that is the only way that they will give you their best performance.
“The hard work starts at the clubs where the coaches are working hard and it shows that the collective work is beneficial because we are improving. The players’ tactical and situational awareness are proof of the collective work that we are doing with the clubs.”
Senong was full of praises for national team debutant and LMPS goal minder, Sekhooane Moerane, who saved a penalty on Sunday.
“It’s all about giving promising players a chance. Sekhoane gave a man-of the-match performance on his debut and looking at his age, you can tell that he is one for the future,” Senong said.