Football | SPORTS

Labasa Coach Opts For Underdog Tag

The Labasa football team will go in as underdogs when they host Tailevu/Naitasiri in Saturday’s Digicel Premier League clash at Subrail Park, says a team official.
28 Apr 2022 13:21
Labasa Coach Opts For Underdog Tag
Labasa midfielder Ilisoni Lolaivalu sets up against Nadi in the Digicel Premier League clash at Prince Charles Park, Nadi. Labasa face Tailevu/Naitasiri on Saturday in a must-win clash. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Labasa football team will go in as underdogs when they host Tailevu/Naitasiri in Sat­urday’s Digicel Premier League clash at Subrail Park, says a team official.

Labasa coach, Ravneel Pratap, told SUNsports that they respect Tailevu/Naitasiri for their outstanding perfor­mance. The Babasiga Lions are placed at the bottom of the DPL points table and must beat Tailevu/Naitasiri to move up.

Pratap said playing against a qual­ity opposition like Tailevu/Naitasiri means they must lift their game to beat them.

He indicated that on a positive note their goal-scoring department has im­proved after scoring five goals against Ba and one in the loss to Nadi.

The no-nonsense coach said they would continue to stress the impor­tance of raising their performance be­cause they are now pressured to win their remaining matches.

“My players are realising the impor­tance of this and the need for us to qualify for the Digicel Fiji FACT tour­nament in Sigatoka”.

Pratap said preparations have not gone according to plan due to the una­vailability of the ground.

He indicated that they were using portions of ground two at Subrail Park for their daily training, but, the ground condition is not up to stand­ard.

“No school is giving us permission to use their ground for training,” he said.

Pratap said the commitment shown by the players after their last match has been overwhelming.

“There is a change of attitude in the team. Our players tried to beat Nadi despite I was unavailable to coach them because I had to attend a B-Li­cence coaching workshop,” he said.

“We have ironed out all disciplinary issues,” he added.

Meanwhile, key players like Iliesa Nayasi, Edwin Sahayam and Ashnil Raju are still nursing injuries.

Pratap said Sahayam and Raju should recover in time for the all-im­portant game.

“Nayasi has not been training be­cause of a dislocated shoulder so we will monitor and analyse his recovery to determine whether he will play or not,” he said.

Veteran Labasa striker Taniela Waqa is still away in Lautoka while techni­cal advisor, Ronil Lal, is currently helping the national under 16 and 19 teams.

The match kicks off at 1.30pm.

Feedback: sampras.anand@fijisun.com.fj



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