Football Football

Stars have a long way to go- Williamson


STARS-FANNAIROBI, Kenya, October 15 – Harambee Stars head coach Bobby Williamson says the team has a long way to go before they start winning matches since he is yet to identify his squad for future international matches.

The Scotsman who was speaking after the team returned home from the 3-0 spanking they received in Morocco on Monday noted the team was still a work in progress.

The Atlas Lions inflicted his second successive defeat since taking charge after seven-time African champions Egypt dimmed the stars 1-0 in Aswan on his debut two months ago.

“We have played two hardest and top teams in the continent away from home, I’m pleased with the boys the way they conducted themselves and performed. It was a learning process and we have two years to build the team before we play serious international matches so we should not fret that we lost the first two games.

“We still have a lot to work on before we start performing, I will give them my words of wisdom and how we can do things better and if they listen they will progress but if they don’t and keep on making the same mistakes, then they will continue losing,” he said at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Wednesday.

“My concern is that we have not qualified for the Nations Cup tournament for a long time so we want to make sure we qualify for the next one,” he added.

Captain Victor Wanyama, Belgium based Ayub Timbe and Norway’s Lillestrome custodian Arnold Origi returned to their clubs directly from Morocco as the rest of the squad trooped home.

Williamson said they did not deserve to lose decrying poor officiating and lack of concentration in the defence saw them concede three goals in last 15 minutes, as he lauded Timbe as having potential of strengthening the attacking that has been a headache for the former Uganda Cranes tactician.

“The game against Morocco should have not ended that way we were denied a penalty in the first half and their first goal was off-side but we expected so since we were away from home. But there were a lot of positives, it was good to see Timbe in the team he is a good player, I know Wanyama since I have seen him in action and obviously I know Origi because he broke my heart in Uganda way back,” he claimed.

“We have a long way to go but it was a good experience to the players. I knew exactly where the problem would come from, the North African teams who are very good in the wide areas. I knew they won’t be able to play in the middle because we had Wanyama, Dennis Odhiambo and substitute Osborne Monday.

“We should have substituted the fullbacks because they looked tired but we couldn’t gamble because we were still tied but by the time we made the change it was too late since we had already got exposed in the wide areas,” the Scotsman explained.

With just a month to this year’s Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Ethiopia, where Stars are aiming to defend the title, Williamson said he will pick his squad once the Kenyan Premier League comes to an end November 8.

“I won’t maintain the same squad for Cecafa because the professional players won’t be there like Origi which will give me opportunity to look at a younger keeper. The door is not closed on the local players if they are outstanding then they can be considered.

“We left the likes of David King’atua and a few others because we know what they can do and we had to test other new ones.”