NAIROBI, Kenya, April 19- AFC Leopards head coach Jan Koops has urged his side to approach their Saturday match with league champions Tusker with caution as they seek to preserve their unbeaten run in Mombasa.
Koops additionally issued a rallying call to his table topping charges to break their jinx against the brewers by bottling their opponents at the Mbaraki Stadium as Kenyan Premier League action returns to the Coast for the first time this season.
“We are aware that Tusker is a good team that we have not been able to beat in a while but that is history and we will put pressure on them,” the Dutchman said on Thursday as he plots a victory against opponents Ingwe have not skinned since 1998.
“I don’t believe in history as much as we can’t wish it away but football is not about all that, we can always rewrite it by winning,” Koops charged after training on Thursday.
Midfielder Salim Kinje has been ruled due to injury he sustained during their 2-1 away win at Thika United but top scorer Allan Wanga who missed the party resumed training and is expected to start if he is deemed fully fit.
“Our goal is not to remain unbeaten since we aim to be champions at the end of the season and we will only strive to collect the best results from every match,” the Dutch tactician added.
Tuskers are banking on the impressive head-to-head record against Ingwe but the Cats are upbeat about the prospects of extending their unbeaten run to 11 games this term.
“The trip to Mombasa is special to us and our fans to whom we intend to give nothing short of a win. Thika believed they would break us but we are confident of replicating the same feat against the champions,” captain Martin Imbalambala stressed.
The brewers go into the match without four crocked key players, Crispin Olando, Joseph Mbugi, Dennis Mukaisi and James Macharia.
They drew 2-2 with Mathare over the weekend but will recount last season’s proceedings where they prevailed in both the home and away fixtures against Leopards.
Leopards are on top of the log on 26 points while Tusker are fourth on 17.