NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26- AFC Leopards interim coach Ezekiel Akwana spared no words for his players after suffering a third loss in four matches over the weekend, going down 1-0 to Western Stima at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Akwana has slammed the players for lacking passion for the club and playing just for the salaries, while taking a dig at the team’s pre-season transfer business saying it was shambolic and the team only signed rejects.
“Most players don’t know what they are doing here. They are just here to earn salaries because what we do in training is not what they do on the pitch. Most of them don’t know what playing for AFC means. They are in their comfort zone thinking playing here is the end of the world. These players have failed us,” a furious Akwana said after the weekend match.
“I don’t have quality players in this squad. In mid season we signed players who were not playing in their teams and that is why you find we are struggling,” he adds.
The AFC players were chased down into the dressing room by whip-wielding fans after the Stima match with the supporters decrying a lack of passion from the players, accusing them of putting the club to shame.
Akwana has however urged patience from the fans as he looks to steady the ship and push Leopards to a top half finish at the end of the season.
“The fans have a right to be hurt because they are the ones who pay us. This is their team and without them we are nothing. I can just urge them to be patient and well keep on working hard to save ourselves from shame,” the tactician opined.
The tactician has also admitted the recent off the pitch rumors on the health status of the players has compounded their woes, saying the players have lost concentration and their focus has been tilted away from the pitch.
Ingwe is placed 12th on the Premier League standings with 29 points, six off the top eight and Akwana now says they have no option rather than win all their five remaining matches.
They have tough fixtures in the sunset days of the season, playing away to Ulinzi Stars before a crunch tie against arch rivals Gor Mahia, and winding up with ties against relegation fighting Sofapaka, title chasing Tusker FC and Muhoroni Youth.
“We have to fight hard for the remaining matches. We target 15 points and there’s no short cut or it will be a disaster to us. We have to work on our mentality because at the moment, we are not up to scratch,” Akwana added.