NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17- The future of midfielder Collins Okoth ‘Gattuso’ at Gor Mahia has been thrown in doubt after he failed to train with the rest of the squad since the August 3 match against Sony Sugar in Awendo.
Speaking to Capital Sport, head coach Jose Marcelo ‘Zemaria’ reveled that he had asked the player to talk to the Gor management concerning his future and will only allow him back to training once cleared by the club’s top brass.
“Collins he choose his way, it’s not my way. I have other 28 players to think about. If he thinks like a team player he can play. I need players who want to play like a team not individual. If you think about yourself, you should play other sports like tennis not football,” Marcelo declared.
Okoth is said to have fallen out with the coach after the club’s barren draw with Sony Sugar in Awendo, coming less than 10 days after the combative midfielder scored a stoppage time winner against City Stars in Nairobi.
Gor Mahia Secretary General Ronald Ngala has confirmed that the coach has asked the player to talk to the office before he can be cleared back to training, but as now, the midfielder is yet to speak to them.
“The office asked him to do an apology letter after falling out with the coach in Awendo but up to now he has not said anything and has not been in training. I think we will have to give him a definite time frame now. If he feels he is the one aggrieved, he should also come out and talk to us so that we find an amicable solution,” Ngala said.
The midfielder’s contract at the club ends in June next year, and it is not the first time he is falling out with a coach in a career that has taken him through Gor, Tusker FC and Sofapaka.
After splendid performances last year under Frank Nuttall where he played a crucial role in the club’s unbeaten run, Okoth has found playing time irregular at the club this season, only being reduced to a bench warmer.
The latest developments do not come at a good time for the record 15-time league champions especially when they find themselves four points off leaders Tusker FC, winless in three consecutive matches and the goals drying up for them.
Coach ‘Ze Maria’ is however unperturbed despite growing unrest from the fans over Gor’s form.
“We have another eight games to play, 24 points to fight for. We can win this league. I don’t understand some reactions from the fans because in the normal situation this is nothing. I saw many times in Europe, even Brazil too, big teams draw four five games, lose some and they do well,” the coach underscored.
“This team needs to be respected because we have gone 13 games without losing. I understand the fans because they want us to win every game but this is football. My players and I want to win every game, but this is not easy. I understand their (fans) disappointment but this is normal in football.”
He has also admitted they have had a short fall in finishing, having played three matches without scoring despite possessing a potent striking force that has Jacques Tuyisenge and Meddie Kagere.
Gor will have two weeks of rest before their next assignment, a GOtv Shield round of 16 tie against second tier side Nzoia United.