Senong sets ambitious targets for Lesotho

Amajita head coach Thabo Senong.
Amajita head coach Thabo Senong.

Former Amajita coach Thabo Senong will not be looking for any excuses when he leads Lesotho into their Fifa World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia on Wednesday.

Dikwena travel to Ethiopia in Bahir Dar for the first leg and they will host them in Maseru on Sunday.

Senong‚ who took South Africa to two U20 World Cups and worked under Pitso Mosimane at Mamelodi Sundowns‚ was named new coach last week.

“It is a strange situation but also very exciting‚” he said.

“Obviously‚ I’m very happy but the fortunate part is that I’m chasing time. We are in camp already and I’m just glad that I’ve got a very good coaching staff who have been there before. I know all the players‚ I know their clubs‚ I know their backgrounds and I’ve watched most of their important games. So‚ I think that has accelerated my adaptation inside the team set up‚” he told TimesLive from Ethiopia on Tuesday.

“We will only have had four training sessions before the game but I don’t want to make excuses.

“Our intention is to do well in this match by getting a draw and a win would be a definite bonus. But it cannot be that we lose the game because the coach has joined the team late. My wish with this group of players is to give them the opportunity to qualify for the group stage of the World Cup qualifiers because it will give them an added six international matches.

“My aim with Lesotho football is to help the team qualify for a continental tournament but also increase the number of players playing in the professional league in South Africa and maybe even one in Europe. You can only do that if you play a lot of international games and so it will be important for us to beat Ethiopia so that we can also qualify for play a lot more games in the future.”

Senong‚ who expects a packed stadium to create an intimidating atmosphere‚ has worked hard on defensive structures in the lead up to Wednesday’s first leg.

“But when we have the ball I will continue to encourage the freedom that the Lesotho boys have because they are very good on the ball‚” he added.