Big ‘Pella’ Dashes Hope in Title Chase
By Augustus Audekina-Doe
LISCR FC coach, Robert Lartey, alias ‘Coach Pella’ has admitted 'realistically ' that there is no chance for his side in the First Division title chase.
Coach Pella said he will instead turn his focus on the Knockout competition, as the championship is far ahead of LISCR FC.
However, he to end the league amongst the top four finished.
The ‘Shipping Boys’ ended the first phase of the 2015-2016 Liberia Football Association national league in fifth place with 12 points; 12 points behind leader Barrack Young Controller.
He said, seated in fifth position with 12 points is a wide gap between the ‘Shipping Boys’ and the top three (BYC, Nimba United and FC Fassell) who have 24, 21 and 20 points respectively.
Calculating the matches played, Coach Pella divulged that LISCR failed to beat any of its competitors and besides the three games won were all against lower rated clubs.
From the 10 matches played thus far, the ‘Shipping Boys’ recorded three wins, three draws and four defeats with 16 goals for and 12 against.
Mustapha Raji’s men thumped Mighty Dragons 6-0, ELWA United 1-0 and Keitrace FC, the “giant Killer” 2-1 while the “Shipping Boys” collected a point each from NPA Anchors (1-1), Nimba United (2-2)and Watanga FC (2-2).
The remaining matches were not good for the Gradnersville based clubs as they were wiped by LPRC Oilers (1-0), Barrack Young Controller (1-0), Holder FC (1-0) and FC Fassell (3-2).
Precisely; “If LISCR should clinch the championship, they will have to beat the big guns and that is where they are lacking.
“The top teams are far ahead of us, therefore we have to be realistic and just prepare for the second phase and not dream too much,” he said.
He added, “It is frustrating on a most serious note looking at my coaching status, coming to a new club and not yelling results on things I am impacting in these players.”
“I am highly disappointed with my players, because football is for result and LISCR is a very big club and we cannot come and be trailing to our contenders.
“So as the transfer window opens, I and my technical team will go all out to see if we can bring in new cream of players as a beef up to the squad”.
LISCR FC signed the former BYC coach in August 2015 in a two-year deal following days of speculation.
Lartey won almost everything during his time in charge at BYC and led both BYC II and BYC I to historical achievements on the continental stage.
He guided BYC II to the FA Cup crown in 2012 LFA and took the team to the Round of 32 in the 2013 CAF Confederation Cup, having qualified over Sierra Leone's FC Johansen 1-0 on aggregate.
He then led BYC I to back-to-back first division championships in 2013 and 2014.
Lartey also led BYC to the round of 32 in the CAF Champions League after defeating Ghana's Asante Kotoko 1-0 at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in the preliminary round.
The two sides were leveled 2-2 on aggregate but the ‘Go Blue’ qualified on the away goal rule after losing 2-1 in the first leg.
This achievement was only reached by Junior Professionals FC in the 1997 tournament.