NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 7- Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has warned player agencies in the city approaching his players to keep off, complaining they are taking the focus off his personnel at a time when they are focused on taking back the Kenyan Premier League title.
Focus has been on three players; reigning KPL player of the year Kenneth Muguna, Rwandese international Jacques Tuyisenge and left back Godfrey Walusimbi who are subjects of interest from their former coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira.
Ferreira is said to be keen on re-uniting with the three at his new club in Albania, KF Tirana according to Albanian press.
“Not unless they come in with three million dollars for Kenneth, I am not ready to listen to anything. People are trying to take his focus away and trying to unsettle the player. It is not right especially for someone under contract. He still has two years left and they should respect that,” a dejected Kerr told Capital Sport.
He added; “I have been informed that they are also interested in Jack and Walusimbi, but this is not the time. Their contracts end in January and they should not be doing that at this time.”
Muguna came on as a first half substitute in Gor Mahia’s 2-0 win over Muhoroni over the weekend and missed last Wednesday’s win over Nakumatt where Kerr openly complained about his absence in training.
He reveals that he kept him on the bench in the Muhoroni match because he thought he was not 100 percent focused and only had to bring him on after 27 minutes when Anthony Mbugua picked up a hamstring strain.
“I will deal with the matter. I have spoken to Kenneth and told him what I think. He is a young boy but it is not good when people try to get his mind twisted. He has to trust me because football is a short career and you have to make the right decisions,” the tactician further added.
Despite the off-pitch issues, Kerr continued with his perfect start at Gor, leading the club to a third straight win and opening up a four point gap at the apex. Kerr though is still concerned that his strikers are not firing in with the rate he wants.
“It is frustrating because we have to kill teams early. We create chances, but we simply can’t get the right technique to score and we are wasteful in the final third. But at least it’s good we kept another clean sheet,” the coach commented.
He was however impressed with the effort and energy put in by the players and will now analyze the three games he has been in charge in to narrow down to specifics as the league enters its business end.
With a game in hand, Gor will have a four point buffer for the next one week with second placed Posta Rangers having dropped three points with a 0-1 loss at the hands of Nzoia Sugar in Bungoma.
-Posta slowed down-
Posta head coach Sammy Omollo had insisted that his side is a serious title contender and despite the Nzoia loss, he has reiterated they will not give up the fight to push for their first ever league title.
For Nzoia, it was their third consecutive win and second at home having beaten soldiers Ulinzi Stars back to back before facing Posta. The victory took them to seventh with 27 points, 10 behind leaders Gor.
Ulinzi meanwhile continued with their struggles, losing for a third consecutive time for the first time since 2008. Losing twice consecutively against Nzoia, Ulinzi tumbled once again with a 1-0 loss at the hands of Nakumatt at their Afraha Stadium backyard.
“I really don’t understand what’s happening because in the last two matches, we have conceded very late goals. We dominate the game, play well, create chances, lose them and then with a very small mistake at the end, we are punished. It is disheartening,” Ulinzi head coach Benjamin Nyangweso said.
Ulinzi dipped to sixth, a massive drop having held on to the apex just three weeks ago. They face leaders Gor Mahia at home in their next match and Nyangweso hopes they can prevent a fourth consecutive red result.
Defending champions Tusker FC meanwhile bounced back from a run of five winless matches, beating Western Stima 2-1 at the Kinoru Stadium in Meru with two penalties from Stephen Owusu.
The victory hoisted them to third with 32 points, five behind leaders Gor. Head coach George Nsimbe says the win, though not the cleanest he expected will give them the much needed confidence to bounce up back into the race to defend their crown.
-Sofapaka make statement-
Sofapaka also stuck up their title ambitions in the sky with a resounding 3-0 win over Thika United, even in the absence of their head coach Sam Ssimbwa who was on a short trip back to his native Uganda.
Assistant coach John Baraza took over the mantle and he ensured the ship remained steady as Batoto ba Mungu seek their first league title since 2009.
KPL Weekend results
Saturday: Gor Mahia 2 Muhoroni Youth 0 (Moi Stadium Kisumu), Kakamega Homeboyz 2 Kariobangi Sharks 1 (Mumias Complex).
Sunday: Ulinzi Stars 0 Nakumatt FC 1, Sofapaka 3 Thika United 0, AFC Leopards 0 Bandari 1 (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru), Chemelil Sugar 1 Zoo Kericho 1 (Chemelil Complex), Nzoia Sugar 1 Posta Rangers 0 (Sudi Stadium, Bungoma), SoNy Sugar 1 Mathare United 1 (Awendo Stadium), Tusker FC 2 Western Stima 1 (Kinoru Stadium, Meru).