Perfect timing for Linda Mntambo’s long-awaited return for Sekhukhune United

Perfect timing for Linda Mntambo’s long-awaited return for Sekhukhune United

Sekhukhune United head coach Lehlohonolo Seema has welcomed the return of club captain Linda Mntambo from a long-term injury, and he announced it with a well-taken goal this past weekend during the 3-1 win over Richards Bay.

Mntambo last played a football match in October 2022 after he suffered what was said to be a career-threatening injury.

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The former Orlando Pirates midfielder scored with a long-range strike over the weekend, and Seema has thanked the medical team for doing their magic to bring him back after such a long period on the sidelines.

''You spoke about our Captain Linda, he was missed a lot in the club. Credit must go to the medical team and the fitness guys they worked with him and the club was patient with Linda.’’

“He is not 100% fit, but we are happy to have him back, he is an important member of the club. We will try to manage him well and not put him under pressure,'' said Seema. 

Sekhukhune meets ABC Motsepe league side Highlands Park in the Nedbank Cup last 32 match at the Dobsonville stadium on Wednesday, and Seema says they have been forced to go the manual route of trying to profile their opponents in the third tier of South African football.

''It's not easy to track them in terms of video footage because of the nature of their league, however we had to go old school and go and watch some of their games physically.''

"It is a team that has quick attackers, can hurt any team and they can easily adapt. We don't undermine our opponents, we will work-hard to make sure we go to the next round,'' added Seema.

In last year’s tournament, Dondol Stars went all the way to the semifinals, losing to Orlando Pirates but by then they had shocked the football system in the country after ousting SuperSport United and AmaZulu.

Highlands Park, who sold their Premier Soccer League (PSL) status to TS Galaxy a few seasons ago, is one of the most organized teams in the amateur ranks and Seema says they can’t afford to underestimate them.

''As Sekhukhune United we say we have to prepare very well for this game. We are only have four years, and when you talk about South African teams you can't skip Highlands Park, we are age underdogs.''

"They have a very experienced coach and have the best defense in that league - therefore we're expecting a very difficult game,'' he concluded.

 Sekhukhune finished as runners-up in this tournament last season, as they lost to Orlando Pirates 2-1 in the final. Is this pressure for Seema to match that or go one better.