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Treat the jersey as your girlfriend, Kerr urges Gor players

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Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr says his players have to earn starting 11 jersey. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3- Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has warned his players that no one is assured of a regular starting place in the team unless they work to show that they have earned a place in his best 11.

Kerr has given his players an analogy of a man who wants to keep his wife or girlfriend at all costs saying they always have to work to impress to ensure that no other man picks her right under his watch.

“You get the jersey, keep it! Don’t let anyone take it. It’s like having a girlfriend; you treat her good, treat her nice. There’s always someone who wants a piece of her and you don’t wanna lose her. Same in football; keep the jersey, make sure you are in the team,” the coach said.

“I want that competition; I don’t want people thinking that they have a God given right for that jersey. If I don’t think they are doing it, I will take it off them and then they have to show me they want it back,” he added.

Boniface Oluoch training. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

This comes with two key K’Ogalo players now being forced to work their way back into the starting 11.

Goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch missed last Sunday’s tie against Nakumatt FC and sat on the bench for the return fixture on Wednesday with Peter Odhiambo continuing between the sticks.

Midfielder Kenneth Muguna missed Wednesday’s Nakumatt return match and Kerr now says he has to work to earn his place back in the team after being impressed by the performance of Ernest Wendo and Philemon Otieno.

“He (Muguna) didn’t train yesterday (Tuesday) and in the morning (Wednesday) he said his knee was swollen. I haven’t seen him and that’s an internal thing that I will deal with. It’s a shame because I think he was pivotal for us on Sunday. But, to be honest, as a pro you are getting paid to work and as a pro if you are paid to work and you don’t show up for work, it is wrong,” the tactician added.

Gor Mahia’s Meddie Kagere takes on nakumatt’s kennedy Onyango.Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULU

The coach was disappointed with the team’s performance on Wednesday despite beating Nakumatt 1-0, registering his reservation on how the team couldn’t burry chances, something he says bothers him ahead of the next game.

Kerr noted that it is not only a problem with Gor nor the Kenyan Premier League, but something he has seen across the continent.

“I have seen six games in Kenya and the lack of technique, ability infront of goal kills football. Every fan comes here to see goals. Yes we want to be entertained with good football, with trickery and skill on the ball but football is about scoring goals,” the coach posed.

“Credit to Nakumatt because they came at us from set pieces. But the defenders were fantastic, midfielders worked hard, but at half time I told them we were second best everywhere on the pitch,” the Briton asserted.

He hopes his side will pick up the pieces in the next match when they face Muhoroni Youth at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Saturday.

Gor Mahia midfielder Kenneth Muguna celebrates his goal against Chemelil Sugar in a Kenyan Premier League clash at the Thika Stadium on May 10, 2017. PHOTO/Courtesy

The coach has now urged the players to replicate their work rate during training onto match day, saying he is always impressed with what he sees from the training ground but can’t really explain what changes when they get onto the pitch.

“In training I see a different way of playing; it’s fantastic and I want to have that same replicated on the pitch. Sometimes we are brilliant but there’s lack of quality in the final third. Strikers need confidence and they need to score goals. But at the moment my strikers are not scoring and I need to address that,” Kerr noted.

The coach revealed that they will give their all to ensure they reclaim the league title, urging the players to believe in themselves that they can make it.

“My players have to believe they are the best and I believe we have the best squad and the best players. But we have to focus, know our job and then have the desire and plan to go play well. We take each game as it comes. We will keep on believing that what we achieve in one game is achievable in 16 more games,” the confident tactician noted.

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