Seema says limping Leopards needed the Fifa break

Tiisetso Malepa Sports reporter
Black Leopards players warming up during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Black Leopards at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on March 21, 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Black Leopards players warming up during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Black Leopards at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on March 21, 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix/Gallo Images

Black Leopards coach Lehlohonolo Seema has welcomed the international Fifa break and the team will use the time to work on the side’s inefficiencies as the season enters the final stretch.

After 20 DStv Premiership encounters‚ Leopards are bottom of the table with just three wins‚ four draws and a whopping 13 losses.

The perennial relegation candidates have the next 10 matches to save their lucrative Premiership status and a side low on confidence will have a mountain to climb as a confrontation with high-flying AmaZulu awaits them in their first match after the international recess on Sunday April 4.

“I think we needed the Fifa break because there are lot of things that we still need to do‚” said the 40-year-old Seema after Leopards came from behind to earn a point in a 1-1 draw against champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus on Sunday.

“I think for us we welcome this break because it allows us to work on some of the things.”

Leopards have played a game after every three days since January 8 and have borne the brunt of their thin budget and squad‚ coupled with destabilising coaching changes and uninspiring administrative bungles‚ as they stumbled to eight defeats. Their only successes came against Orlando Pirates at home on January 17 and another rare win away at Lamontville Golden Arrows on February 23‚ coupled with points earned in two draws.

With 10 matches remaining‚ Leopards have only managed 13 points from a possible 60 and are three behind their nearest relegation rivals.

“The past month and a half have been really hectic for us with all the travelling a lot.

“The break came at a right time because the players can now go and clear their minds a bit and when they come back they will be fresh.

“When you are not getting results week in and week out‚ sometimes as a player you ask yourself ‘when will I get a breather’.

Seema is aware that it will take an extraordinary winning streak in the last 10 matches and other results in the relegation scrap to go their way if Leopards are to survive the axe.

“There are still some guys that need to recover from their knocks.

“We will need to rotate a lot of players because each and every game is going to be hard going forward because games are running out now.

“At the moment we just focus on getting the points. Mentally the guys I must say‚ in the past few weeks‚ of course if you don’t get results‚ the mood will be down in the camp but it is up to us as the technical team to pick them up at training and tell them that it is not yet over.”