NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – Despite placing seven points behind leaders Gor Mahia, Tusker FC head coach George Nsimbe is confident the brewers are still on course to defend their title having picked up momentum in the last three matches.
Nsimbe’s charges started their title defense on a poor footing, losing to Nzoia Sugar and Thika United but have managed to stabilize their ship, winning against Chemelil Sugar and picking back to back points against Sofapaka and Ulinzi Stars.
“We are playing better and better with each game and there is some positivity at the moment. There is massive improvement and what we have done to move on after the poor start is help the players prepare better mentally,” the Ugandan tactician said.
On the league title run; “This is a marathon; we still have so many games to go and we can still make it because I have good players. If we can continue with this fighting spirit, we will be okay.”
Tusker’s title defense credentials will come under sharp scrutiny this weekend when they face Gor at the Afraha Stadium with Nsimbe expecting a stern test which he hopes his boys will overcome.
The two sides have already met this year in the season opening KPL Super Cup, a tie that Gor won 1-0 at the same venue. Last season, Tusker won both legs of their league encounters with identical 1-0 score-lines, though the first leg was a controversial one.
“It is going to be different. The Cup and league are two different things and now that we know what to expect, I know we will give a better account of ourselves,” Nsimbe said ahead of the tie.
Gor who have lost only once this season winning four matches to sit at the apex of the standings will be in no mood to drop points and head coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira has made it clear they are going all out.
“Tusker is a tough opponent and we know what is expected of us. Our mentality remains the same. We have to approach this game just the same way we approach others. We know we are Gor Mahia and the expectation is to win. That is what we are going for,” the Brazilian, fresh from receiving his March coach of the month award says.
-Posta face Sharks-
Meanwhile, before Tusker and Gor take on each others’ neck, unbeaten Posta Rangers will be aiming to keep their record lean and clean when they take on Kariobangi Sharks in the early kick off.
Rangers are just a point behind Gor having won thrice and drawn twice and they come up against a Sharks side beaming with confidence after back to back wins.
William Muluya and his boys will hope the run picked from fellow new boys Nakumatt and Nzoia Sugar will be sustained against a tough Posta side, and he reckons his boys have picked up the much needed experience of playing top flight football.
Sammy Omollo’s Rangers have been more than efficient this season; three 1-0 wins, one 1-1 draw and the other 0-0 have shown just how watertight their backline, anchored by his former stalwarts at Tusker Luke Ochieng and Jockins Atudo is.
The tactician, himself a former defender reckons a watertight defense will be key in his side’s charge for a first ever Premier League title. Looking forward to the Sharks match, Pamzo, as his peers refer to him is expecting a tight duel.
“They put the ball on the floor and are a very tactical team with good forward players. I don’t expect an easy match from them. Sharks and Rangers played together in the lower tier sometime back and these are two teams which know each other. That makes it even tougher,” Omollo noted.
A win will keep the mailmen within the top two range and they might even go top if Gor drop points at Tusker.