NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23- Gor Mahia head coach Jose Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ expects an interesting end to the season with the Kenyan Premier League title chase remaining tight ahead of the last six matches.
The defending champions currently sit five points adrift of leaders Tusker who beat Muhoroni Youth 2-1 on Friday evening.
Ze Maria also sees Ulinzi Stars, Western Stima and Mathare United, all on 37 points and six behind them as possible title contenders.
“There is pressure not only on us but also the teams below us because they have a chance. As champions, we are also under pressure because this is Gor Mahia and we are expected to win all our games,” the Brazilian tactician said.
“I think with six games to go, it will be a very interesting end to the season. The winner might be known on the last day,” he added.
Gor captain Musa Mohammed on his side said the players are not concerned with Tusker’s progress but instead looking to win their remaining six games of the season, including the season ender against the Brewers.
“Our focus is on what we can do as a team and not on Tusker. We want to win our remaining matches – we know it will be hard but we have a strong team, everyone’s motivation is up there and I am confident we can successfully defend this title,” the skipper, who has been part of the Gor Mahia side since 2009, said.
K’Ogalo, the record 15 times Kenyan Premier League champions, will be taking on relegation threatened Sofapaka at the Nyayo Stadium on Sunday with three points their only target.
Despite Sofapaka being placed second from bottom, Ze Maria says he has a lot of respect for them, and expects an end to end tough affair.
“It will be a tough match. They are fighting relegation and we are fighting to win the league. It will be a good open match. We have a lot of respect for them.”
“We have to continue in this way, try to win our matches, playing well and fighting for each ball on the ground,” Ze Maria highlighted.
Gor have won their last two matches, 3-1 against Chemelil Sugar and 1-0 against fellow title contenders Ulinzi Stars, results that give them a huge confident boost heading into the Sofapaka match.
The champions have had two weeks break as they were dumped out of the GOtv Shield and Ze Maria says he has used the period to implement new ideas he will want to employ heading into the business end of the season.
“We have had time to train and correct mistakes we did in the last match. It was a good week to also try to implement new things which will be of help to us in the remaining games,” he added.
Gor are looking to make history, by winning the league for 16th time as well as the fourth in a row. But Tusker who lost the title to Gor in 2013, stand in the way and have promised not to move an inch.