NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 19 – Gor Mahia head coach Jose ‘Ze Maria’ Marcelo has challenged his charges to continue with the winning mentality when they host defending champions Tusker FC in a Kenyan Premier League match on Saturday.
Last term Gor lost to Tusker in both legs in the Premier League and Ze Maria believes a win against the Brewers will add more confidence to his players as they target to sweep all the titles this season.
Already K’Ogalo have one trophy in the cabinet; the Super Cup that they lifted in February after beating Tusker 1-0. This encouraged them to start the season on a high where they have won four matches and lost only one in five games to sit at the top of the standings on 12 points.
“Our mentality and philosophy is playing to win against Kariobangi Sharks or the champions Tusker. We have to play with the same mentality trying to win and improve in all matches. We have won one trophy this year so far and we want to win the remaining three (KPL, GOtv Shield, Top 8). My players know our target,” Ze Maria told Capital Sport on Wednesday after being named the Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month for March.
The Brazilian tactician has attributed the good performance to new players who joined the team this season in midfielder Kenneth Muguna who was named the Most Valuable Player last season and Rwandan national football team captain Jean Baptize Mugiraneza with both having scored their debut goals for Gor.
“When I came to Gor I found them in12th position but we finished second and played in the top 8 final. This year we have a lot of good players. Muguna who was MVP last season and experienced players like Mugiraneza have really done us proud. I have a good mixed team of new and old players so I think we can fight for all titles this year,” Ze Maria underscored.
His captain Musa Mohammed anticipates a tough encounter against Tusker, saying they will come proving a point since they started the season on a wrong footing.
“It will be a difficult match against Tusker because they are struggling. Looking at the position they are in, they will come hard on us but we are preparing well to see how it goes on Saturday,” Mohammed said.
The skipper who heaped praise on Ze Maria is confident the team will finish top of the table by mid-season.
“Ze Maria has brought a lot of confidence in the team and his tactics are good. We have to win as many matches as possible before we go to mid-season break.”
“The new players like Muguna and Mugiraneza have brought stability in the midfield and there is rotation you don’t need to depend on one player because there is more than one player who can play in that position.”
The main target for Gor will be to reclaim the title that they lost to Tusker FC last season.