Gaborone United (GU) interim coach George Mogopodi is convinced that his side is still in the running for the beMobile Premier League title despite many people dismissing their chances.
Mogopodi who has been at the helm of the Reds for almost three weeks after the suspension of head coach David Bright believes that the latest developments at the club can work to their advantage.
GU are lying fourth on the log with 41 points with eight games remaining. They are four points adrift of leaders Township Rollers.
“We’re still in the race for the championship because anything can happen in the remaining games.
Rollers and BDF XI can falter then we come to snatch it. I believe that my players are aware of what is at stake and I don’t think they’ll be happy to finish the season without silverware. Players will always be players but is important is to keep them focused,” said Mogopodi.
The former Uniao Flamengo Santos has only been in charge for the Reds in only one league match which was a 4-3 win over Nico United at Molepolole Sports Stadium on February 23.
He pointed out that since being given the task of drilling Gaborone giants, he has tried not change things that much.
“I’ve tried not to bring complete changes from what Bright had started. The good thing is that the players have adjusted quickly which has made things easy for me. Everything has gone according to plan so far,” he said.
In their game against Nico United, Mogopodi introduced to the Reds’ faithful the Zambian midfielder George Mubita who came on as a substitute. He was signed during the January transfer period alongside Zimbabwean striker Thulani Moyo. The latter is still to make his debut for the Reds.
“The challenge they faced (Mubita and Moyo) is that when they came here their match fitness was low as their respective leagues were on recess. I’m glad that they managed to push themselves and they’re ready to go. They will benefit us a lot as we push for the honours,” Mogopodi said.
Following the suspension of Bright, some pundits believe that GU’s players are not in the right frame to push for the title but Mogopodi disagrees. “We’ve spoken to the players not to let what is happening off the field to affect their focus. The important thing is for the players are to understand why they are at GU. The jersey is far important than anything else. It is wise to leave the politics to the politicians and focus on playing football. I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to stay as a unit,” said Mogopodi.
This afternoon, GU return to Molepolole Sports Stadium where will entertain relegation threatened Notwane. Kick off for the game is 4pm.
“This is a six pointer for us. It is not going to be an easy game and we’ll be ready for it. The only challenge we faced this week is that we could not train well due to the heavy downpours but that’s not an excuse,” said Mogopodi.