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Football | Absa Premiership

Coach urges Leopards to raise game



Black Leopards must improve their organisation at the back and show more urgency up front, according to assistant coach Abel Makhubele, if they want to bounce back in the second half of the Absa Premiership season.

Leopards drew 1-1 against Bloemfontein Celtic at Free State Stadium on Wednesday, with Lerato Manzini putting the hosts ahead with a tame shot in the 29th minute, before the visitors rallied to level the scoreline three minutes later via captain Mongezi Bobe.

Makhubele took charge of the visiting side in the absence of head coach Ian Palmer, who was reportedly suspended this week for clashing with Leopards management.

''I'm happy with the team's overall performance and the result, especially away, but we need to improve in the strike force," Makhubele said.

"We played well and we were composed for the entire game against Celtic but lacked finishing.

"We are a bit slow in the striking department and we need aggression to be able to impose ourselves against the opponents.

"There is also room for improvement in organising the defence, which has been a challenge, but finishing has been our main downfall in games which we should have won."

Leopards went into the mid-season break in 12th position, while Celtic clung to the top half of the log, in seventh position.

Makhubele believed his team's ability to create chances in both halves against the Free State outfit, and the fighting spirit they displayed, proved they were on the right track.

''We are going rectify our challenges and return a better team from the break," he said.

"We are bound to consolidate our standing in the Premiership in the second round, starting in February.

"We have a big squad to choose from. Some players have not had a chance to prove themselves and to show what they are capable of doing."

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