NAIROBI, June 23 – Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi is keeping his feet firmly on the ground despite the team’s impressive run in the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Stars notched a vital away point away in Harare last weekend which left them in second place in group two with seven points but speaking upon arrival from Zimbabwe on Monday evening, Kimanzi said he was taking it a step at a time.
“I am not thinking about qualifying from the group yet. All I want is to make it as competitive as possible. We want to make sure that we are in the mix and that we play our part in making it as hard and competitive as possible then we will see what happens,” he said.
He added he was not worried by Guinea’s big 4-0 win over Namibia which saw the West Africans leapfrog Kenya at the top of the table by goal difference.
“The result for Guinea does not affect us. If anything it makes the group even more competitive which is exactly what i want," he said.
The youthful tactician promised to release a detailed plan of the team’s preparations ahead of the final two qualifying matches in September and October.
“We shall meet with our technical bench tomorrow(Tuesday), and draw a plan according to the time between now and September,” said Kimanzi.
He added that he would ideally like to have a couple of friendly matches before playing Namibia.
“We have local based players who would do with more exposure even if it’s home and away tie. KPL and KFF have done a sterling job for the team and if they can spare some funds for that, then it would be great for,” he opined.
“As for the Namibia game, we will sit down with videos of the match we played against Namibia and analyse it and from that point we shall come up with a strategy on how to approach the return in Nairobi. We have time so we can forge a plan to give us success,” added the Mathare United coach.
Looking back at the Zimbabwe game, Kimanzi said the team’s strategy had worked to fault.
“The Zimbabweans were up for it but their strategy was wrong so were able to cope and they even made changes early in the game. Their fans though really made it tough driving but the boys kept concentration and we got the point we deserved.”
He however raised issue with the officiating, “It was obvious that the referee was biased as he kept on calling for non existent players. Even the yellow card that Oliech received was uncalled for but we got through.”