NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3- Nakumatt FC head coach Anthony Mwangi has admitted the uncertainty surrounding their sponsor, Supermarket chain Nakumatt Holdings has affected them but he hopes his charges can weather the storm and finish off the season successfully.
The regional supermarket chain has been going through tough financial times and has been forced to close some of its branches as it grapples with debts and high operational costs.
Mwangi’s side sit 11th in the Kenyan Premier League standings but they have lost all their last three matches, against Ulinzi Stars and back-to-back against giants Gor Mahia who beat them 2-0 on Saturday and 1-0 on Wednesday.
“It was a good performance from us considering what we are going through. We have all been seeing in the news what the company has been going through and even the team is going through tough times. But I congratulate the boys because they have been trying despite the circumstances,” the coach told Capital Sports after the team’s 1-0 loss to Gor on Wednesday.
Nakumatt have been referred to as the ‘money-bags’ considering the hefty salaries they pay players as well as the heavy sign-on fees they have been handing to players especially when they were still in the second tier seeking promotion.
They earned the much needed lift to top tier football at the start of the 2017 season when the Football Kenya Federation made the decision to increase the league to 18 teams.
Mwangi admits that the uncertainty might affect the performance of the team, but maintains they will keep fighting hard to ensure they achieve their target of finishing in the top half of the table.
“To be honest I don’t know much about what is happening because my work is only on the pitch. I am sure in the next couple of weeks we should know what is going on. It is somehow affecting the players bit I am trying to give them motivation,” the coach added.
The Premier League newcomers will put their woes behind as they travel to Nakuru to face soldiers Ulinzi Stars at the Afraha Stadium on Saturday. Mwangi is confident they can pick up a revenge win and keep their hopes on track.
“We have some few injuries but we hope we can manage. Every game is different and with a different approach. It will be a tough game away from home but we have to go and get a win. I know we can still manage to keep our top half target because the gap is not that big,” Mwangi noted.