Oliech rallies his troops


NAIROBI, Kenya, October 5 – Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech says the team has put the disappointment of losing to Guinea Bissau behind them and are focused on Saturday’s game against Uganda.Oliech believes dwelling on the previous result is detrimental towards the team preparations for the must win Group J encounter at Nyayo National Stadium.

“As a team we are not feeling the pressure though we know that we have to win. That’s football,” said the Auxerre striker.

“We have to leave what happened against Guinea-Bissau behind us and hope for the best against Uganda,” he added.

Stars fell to a shock 1-0 defeat to their West African rivals in Conakry last month amidst allegations of rival camps within the squad.

The result also cost Twahir Muhiddin his job as Stars coach and the subsequent appointment of Jacob Mulee to resuscitate the team’s chances of appearing in the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 2004.

“Every player knows that they did not do a good job in the last game. I f we do not do well aganst Uganda we might as well kiss the Nations Cup goodbye,” said Mulee who is currently in his fourth stint as national coach.

Mulee said that he is not concerned about his team’s history in this fixture though his wary of the talent in Bob Williamson’s side who beat Angola 3-0 in Kampala.

Uganda top the group with three points while Kenya lies in third place.

“The match between Kenya and Uganda is normally a tricky affair because of the rivalry. But I don’t want to go by history. It is there to be read but Saturday is the real situation for us,” said Mulee.

Mulee and his coaching staff too the team through their paces at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Tuesday morning with the notable absentee being Inter Milan midfielder MacDonald Mariga.

“Mariga came to camp this (Tuesday) morning and requested time to address some personal commitments but will join us in the afternoon,” said Mulee.

The coach also revealed that Mariga’s brother Victor Mugabe is the only fitness concern in camp as he is suffering from athletes foot.