NAIROBI, September 30 – Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi says that the limited training period he has with the team has made it difficult for him to assess the potential of fringe players ahead of their final 2010 World Cup qualifier against Guinea.
Kimanzi explained that the short time available will make it hard for him to incorporate the newly capped players which in turn will adversely hinder the squad’s depth during the qualifying campaign.
“Having new players in the team allows you to make a decision as early as possible incase one of the established players cannot make the trip for whatever reason hence they become an automatic replacement,” said Kimanzi.
“When you have three weeks, training does not have to be that intensive and players can be given a rest and it also provides as with an opportunity to observe new individuals who have played well in the league,” he added.
The Mathare United tactician has called up Chris Litswa of Western Stima and Bandari FC’s Abdi Simba to camp after impressive performances in the Kenya Premier League (KPL).
“Having them in camp gives them the opportunity to build on what they have done in the league and provides us with a snapshot of what they can do before the foreign based players join us next week,” said Kimanzi.
Kimanzi also told Capital Sport after the team’s fourth training session that practice was going on smoothly and that there were no injuries.
“The players are in very good shape and fit. Kevin Ochieng and John Njoroge who were injured in the league are recovering well and will be ready to go next week,” he added.
Kimanzi said that he is yet to come up with a concrete game plan for Conakry as he is still looking at the players’ form but he has been working on defence since most of the defenders are already in camp.
Stars beat Guinea 2-0 in Nairobi back in June, a result which Kimanzi believes will lead to a backlash from the West Africans whom his team faces on October 12.
“Of course we expect a very tough match, tougher than what we had here because they desperately need three points and we also need three points,” said Kimanzi.
“When you look at the current standings, you get an indication that they might play attacking football to secure either three points or a single point,” he added.