By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
BLACK Leopards coach, Heric Vladislav said there is still the long and hard road ahead of them before they could realize their dream to avoid relegation.
Vladislav was speaking after Leopards registered a deservedly 2-1 victory over Santos, courtesy goals of Rodney Ramagalela and Thomas Madimba last night at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Limpopo to improve their position to 14th on the log with 20 points, Vladislav said they are not there yet.
“Our intension is to completely move away from relegation zone and few more wins could see us achieve this. It is going to be difficult given the fact that we still have to play Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns within a short space of seven days,” pointed out Vladislav.
Leopards are currently involved in three competitions, the Absa Premiership, the Nedbank Cup and CAF Confederations Cup. Their performance lately have been good, beating Motor Action of Zimbabwe 3-1 on aggregate in the eliminations of the CAF Confederations Cup to proceed to the last 16 round where they also brushed aside Sait Eloi Lupopo FC with a 4-2 drubbing in the first leg played at the Giyani Stadium in Limpopo last weekend, and then turn the heat to Santos during last night’s league match.
With only eight matches remaining before they could wrap their 2011/12 season, it remain to be seen if the Limpopo side will survive the chop ahead of fellows struggles such as Jomo Cosmos (13 points), Santos (19), Maritzburg United (24), Golden Arrows (24) and Platinum Stars (24).
Leopards face Chiefs this coming Saturday in the last 16 Nedbank Cup clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, then meet them again in the league match three days later (Tuesday) at the FNB Stadium before they could jet out to Lubumbashi in DR Congo on the Easter weekend for CAF Confederations Cup’s returned leg against Lupopo on April 6. Three days later on their return from DR Congo, the club will settle at home for another tricky league match against the visiting Sundowns on April 11 and then travel to Free State to take on unpredictable Free State Stars.
The rest of Leopards’ remaining league matches on the 2011/12 calendar are:
April 21, vs AmaZulu (at home), away to Jomo Cosmos (April 28), at home to Moroka Swallows (May 2), away to BidVest Wits (May 12) and at home to Ajax Cape Town (May 19).