NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 22- Tusker FC head coach Paul Nkata has admitted pressure is building up on his side as the Kenyan Premier League enters its homestretch, but remains optimistic the Brewers can hold on to the lead through the final six games of the campaign.
From eight points gap, defending champions Gor Mahia have reduced the gap between them and leaders Tusker FC to two points.
“There is pressure, honestly because the champions and the teams below us are breathing on our necks. The gap is small and we are at a position where we have to take each of the remaining six games very seriously,” Nkata who joined the Ruaraka based club at the start of the season told Capital Sport.
Tusker travelled to Nakuru early Thursday morning ahead of their match against Nkata’s former team Muhoroni Youth on Friday afternoon, a game that will determine the direction of the title race.
A loss for Nkata and his men will hand Gor, who play Sofapaka on Sunday evening, a huge advantage as a win will take Jose Marcelo Ferreira’s men top of the table.
“We know, it is not going to be an easy match and none of the remaining six games of the season will be. We know what is expected of us and the kind of pressure we will put ourselves in if we lose. It is not an option as we go to Nakuru,” Nkata offered.
Tusker will rue dropping points in matches they were needed to win. A loss to Thika United followed by draws against Western Stima and Ushuru all in their last five matches cost them a valuable gap that would have seen them slope down to the final day with some comfort.
But now, Nkata will look on the experience of his squad to sail them through unscathed to the title for the first time since losing it to Gor in 2013.
“I have players who have played at the highest level. They know how to contain this pressure and above all know what it means to fight for the title. These are the players who will help us through these remaining tough matches,” Nkata opined.
After the match against Muhoroni, Tusker travel to Mombasa to play Bandari, face bottom side City Stars at home, travel to Awendo to face Sony Sugar then play at home to AFC Leopards.
The ultimate show stopper, the title decider will be on the last day when they face holders Gor in the final day of the season.
Ulinzi Stars, Western Stima and Mathare United – all on 37 points – have an outside chance of challenging for the title, but if either of them loses three of the remaining six games, then they can as well kiss the title goodbye.