Mothiba: 'The chance of a lifetime'
Lebo Mothiba is determined to make the most of the chance afforded to him by LOSC, for whom he scored on his Ligue 1 Conforama debut.
Mothiba was brought back by Lille from a loan spell at their northern neighbours Valenciennes FC in January, principally because LOSC had been hit with a ban from signing any new players.
The 22-year-old admits he felt bad for leaving Valenciennes, for whom he had scored eight times in 20 Ligue 2 appearances this season. However, he did not let down Lille coach Christophe Galtier after being thrown into the starting line-up for last weekend's 2-2 draw at FC Nantes, scoring his team's first goal at the Stade de la Beaujoire.
"I felt bad. They (Valenciennes) gave me my chance. But I came back to my first club, who I joined from South Africa when I was 18," Mothiba said in an interview with sports daily L'Equipe.
"The Valenciennes players understood that my future was at stake. It was best to come back to Lille. The chance of a lifetime. To be able to play in Ligue 1, for a big club like Lille."
Watch: Mothiba's first Lille goal
Focused on beating the drop
The Nantes game was something of a whirlwind for Mothiba, who came through the Diambars academy in Johannesburg.
"I put a lot of work in to prepare for that match. I was delighted when I saw the starting line-up. I wanted to give everything. When I scored, I couldn't believe it. I was so happy," said Mothiba, who is eager to help Lille climb the table and get away from trouble.
"LOSC want to work with their young players. It's a bit tough at the moment. We need to remain focused on the next match against Lyon, and try to stay in Ligue 1. I think we can stay up if we give everything."