BLACK Leopards FC head coach, Jean Francois Luscuito, has shifted the gear to a higher level as the battle for
promotion to the elite Premier Soccer League (PSL) reaches fever pitch.
However, he is all too aware that the players have to up their game and continue to win matches. The
Limpopo-based side has only lost once and are now second on the National First Division (NFD) log with
39 points from 22 matches.
There is an eight-point difference between them and log leaders Thanda Royal Zulu who have also played the same number of games.
He is adamant the remaining games will be treated like “cup finals”.
“When you win, it’s easier for everybody but be careful because now we have eight ‘finals’ to the end of the season. They (the games) won’t be easy because we are to play Thanda Royal Zulu, Royal Eagles, AmaZulu, University of Pretoria and Jomo Cosmos. These are very big teams. It’s important for us to maintain focus at this stage,” he said.
Leopards started their campaign in the NFD slow but have managed to overtake most promotional hopefuls.
Other teams such as Mthatha Bucks, Witbank Spurs and AmaZulu seem to be serious contenders for
playoffs spots in positions five, six and seven respectively on the log.
Bucks and Spurs are tied on 33 points with third placed Royal Eagles and all are separated by a point with AmaZulu.
Luscuito maintains he is not worried about what other teams are doing.
Asked if Li Do Da Duvha can challenge Thanda Royal Zulu for the outright promotion, the former Nigeria assistant coach said he is not expecting them to just drop points.
However, he pointed out that the situation will be clear at the end of April.
“Only God knows what will happen at the end of the season, but Thanda (Royal Zulu) is a strong side.
Look how they defeated Santos two weeks ago. We’re still going to play them but we will know at the end of
April who are NFD champions,” he said.
The team, once the darling of the people of Limpopo, faces NFD rookies, Real Kings, in Thohoyandou on Saturday (15:00).
Luscuito said the match will be a test of their character in the march to regain status in the PSL.