NAIROBI, Kenya, July 5 – Despite starting the second leg on a wrong footing, Ulinzi Stars head coach Robert Matano maintains his team is on the right track to reclaim the Kenyan Premier League title.
Ulinzi, the 2010 champions opened their second leg campaign on a 1-0 loss to Mathare United but Matano outlined that they have not lost hope of quenching their six-year title drought.
“We played well against Mathare United despite having defensive mix up that cost us the three points but we will work on that. Its painful starting the second leg on a loss but it’s not permanent we will rectify our mistakes,” Matano, who is yet to lift a title since joining the soldiers in 2014, asserted.
“Losing is part of learning process. We have to work hard to redeem our image and come back stronger since the players are coming up well. We have not lost hope this is the first match, there are still 14 matches to go so we will fight strongly.”
Ulinzi dipped form towards the end of the first leg where they only managed to keep one clean sheet in five matches to sit fourth on 27 points, five adrift of leaders Tusker FC.
The defeat on Saturday saw Mathare complete a double over Ulinzi after the Francis Kimanzi led side won 2-0 in the first leg.
Nonetheless, Matano admitted there is still room for improvement as he plans to bounce back in their next fixture where they host his former employer Tusker FC at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium on Saturday.
Matano was dormant in the June transfer window where he signed three players; John Kago, Vincent Ochieng from Ulinzi Stars Youth team and Stephen Waruru, who returned from military duty.
Ulinzi, the only team that comprises of locally based players, will be seeking to better their last year second place finish as the league enters its grueling last half.