NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – Posta Rangers will still fight to maintain their chase for the 2017 Kenyan Premier League title despite seeing their unbeaten run broken last weekend, head coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo has firmly stated.
Omollo, who won the title with Tusker FC in 2011, has reiterated the side will bounce back to winning ways this weekend when they host leaders Gor Mahia at the Nyayo National Stadium.
“I knew at some point that run would be broken so it is not a surprise at all. Despite losing to Ulinzi, I think we played well against a tough opponent and had we utilized our chances in the first half, things would have been different,” Omollo revealed.
The loss to Ulinzi in Nakuru drags them back to fourth in the log, three points shy of leaders Gor, but they can bridge that gap with three points on Sunday.
“The most I will do before that game is working on the mental strength of the players. Tactically and in terms of player strength, I think we are okay; it is now a matter of lifting them up after the loss and getting them ready for the tough game,” the tactician added.
Also, Omollo has bemoaned the absence of defense kingpin Jockins Atudo who picked up a thigh strain on the final day of training before the Ulinzi match, but he expects him to be back for the Gor clash.
“Missing your leader in a team is not easy and it was visible today that he was not there. I think that was one of the areas which we struggled a bit though Don (Donald Owiti) played well,” Omollo noted.
-Ulinzi turning point-
Meanwhile, Ulinzi who won their fourth consecutive match moving to two points behind leaders Gor have admitted that losing back-to-back against Kakamega Homeboyz and Zoo Kericho awoke them from their slumber.
Head coach Benjamin Nyangweso now hopes his side can maintain the same streak.
“We talked as a team after the two losses and the reality check pushed us to start performing well. We learnt from our mistakes and now we are taking the games more seriously. We are playing better as a team and I am pleased with how well we are building,” Nyangweso beamed.
-Tusker good run-
At the same time, defending champions Tusker FC continued with their impressive run, picking up a sixth successive victory after seeing off Mathare United 2-0 at Ruaraka Sports Ground. The win pushed them to third, same points as second placed Ulinzi but with an inferior goal difference.
Head coach George Nsimbe is upbeat his side is inching closer to title defense shape.
“We are playing well, that’s the most important thing. Winning six matches in a row is not easy and I must congratulate the boys for their hard work,” the tactician underscored.
For Mathare, things continue going downhill after picking up a fourth consecutive loss, dropping to 17th in the log, only ahead of bottom side Western Stima by goal difference.
The slum boys have won only two of 12 matches this season and head coach Francis Kimanzi’s young side has found it tough.
“It is a huge concern of course because these are not results anyone would desire. We are a young team, still learning and hopefully we can recover. I have no doubt that we can do it. These boys might be young but their mental strength is high,” a confident Kimanzi told Capital Sport.
Mathare lost almost three quarters of their squad at the close of last season and they have struggled to replace them with the only mainstays remaining at the club being skipper George ‘Wise’ Owino, left-back David Mwangi and winger Daniel Mwaura.
Kimanzi remains adamant he will not sign experienced players when the June transfer window opens, saying he will keep faith in his young charges who he says are picking experience with every match.