Saturday, January 28, 2023

Highlanders’ woes continue

Rookies BR Highlanders’ promotion to the Premier League at the beginning of the season was surrounded by controversy.

That did not bother the Mahalapye outfit and their supporters as they were excited by the prospect of playing top light football for the first time in their history. Little did they know what lay ahead.

Reality has struck and some of them might be wishing that they could still be in the First Division. Ever since getting promoted to the elite league in September, BR Highlanders have struggled to win a single game; the best they could do was to salvage a point against another rookie side Motlakase. As things stand, Highlanders have accumulated a single point out of possible 24. They lie rock bottom of the 16-team table, having conceded more goals than any other side.

On Thursday night at Molepolole Sports Stadium, Highlanders’ supporters suffered another heartbreak as their side was beaten 3-1 by Notwane. It is a game most of their supporters thought would turn the tables for them but it was never the case. The game against Notwane once again proved that the Botswana Railways-backed side has a lot to do if they entertain the idea of competing against the top sides.

Despite their poor run, newly-appointed Highlanders’ coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, remains confident that very soon things will change for the better.

“If we can maintain the second half performance against Notwane, I believe that our maiden win is not far. All we need is to believe and I’ve noticed a great improvement from the team. If I had an experienced squad we could have beaten Notwane but that’s the price you pay when you’ve got some of the players at my disposal,” said Mpote. The former Miscellaneous and TASC coach pointed out that the reason they have been poor in the league is because of the quality in their squad. He said there is a need to reinforce their squad during the January transfer window.

“We need players who can go out there and die for the team. The good thing is that the management understands our situation and they have been very supportive,” he added.

Mpote pointed out that he is not ready to give up though they are still to win a game. He said if they can get a single win, it would serve as a motivation for the players and make them hungrier.
“I’ve been in the same situation with Miscellaneous in the past but we managed to remain in the top league. I want to believe that I can still achieve that if we can bolster our squad in January. I’m doing my best to keep the players motivated and they’re responding well. I’ve found this team in a mess and I’m happy that things have improved,” he said.

This afternoon, Highlanders returns to Molepolole for a tricky assignment against red-hot Gaborone United (GU). While Highlanders are placed 16th on the table, the Reds are sitting comfortably on second spot. While on paper this should be a one-way traffic kind of game, football has always proved to be an unpredictable game. But with the likes of Ronald Chikomo, Tebogo Sembowa, Makundika Sakala and Sageby Sandaka, the Reds have the best attacking men in the country.
The quartet is likely to add more woes to Highlanders. Kickoff is at 4pm.


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