NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19- Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr has suggested that the groove might finally be returning to the club after a three-week period of instability, saying his players ‘played with a smile on their faces’ in their 4-0 triumph against Tanzania’s Yanga in a CAF Confederation Cup Group D fixture at Kasarani on Wednesday night.
Prior to the game, the team had been shaken from all corners ranging from player go slows over unpaid allowances and a ban from CECAFA after snubbing the medal ceremony at the Kagame Cup.
But the players put all that behind their back producing a flawless performance to beat Yanga and boost their chances of making it into the quarter finals of the continental competition.
“For me, I can’t be more proud of these players; I am proud of them every day. The way they play, hustle for the ball and fight, I could see players playing with a smile on their face today which was great,” The coach said.
He added; “The performance shows passion and pride. We know things happen and sometimes upsets my players, but when they put the green jersey on and step over the white line, they give their all. They were 75pec happy and Imagine what it would be like if we were 100pc happy…. if people support these players for their effort?”
The tactician praised Gor’s performance in the Wednesday night fixture, saying his players were simply a class above Yanga.
“This was a great performance. A performance of caliber. We were missing some key players and we had to jig but still we produced an outstanding performance. We scored four goals but maybe we could have had three or four more,” Kerr noted.
He was particularly full of praise for midfielder Humphrey Mieno who commanded the middle of the pack in the entire game, his passing ability on the night being key to Gor Mahia’s attacking prowess.
“His (Mieno) value keeps going up with every game and his performance today was outstanding. He is getting better and better at every game and he has to maintain that. Not only him but all the players,” the coach noted.
Mieno himself was elated with the performance, but as humble as he is credited the team for the huge goal return.
“There’s nothing special. It’s just what we midfielders have to do and we did it. I think we had a very good performance scoring four goals and we should be able to take this to the next games,” the soft-spoken midfielder said.
Gor find themselves with another packed week before playing Yanga in the return fixture on July 29 in Dar es Salaam. They play arch rivals AFC Leopards in the Mashemeji Derby on Sunday at the Kasarani Stadium before facing Posta Rangers in a Cup fixture at the same venue in midweek.
Kerr though is confident they can handle the heat that comes with the running fixtures.
“It is tough but we have to take it as it comes. I will give the players a day’s rest and hopefully they can come back happy. I have realized that if you want the players to give their best for you, keep them happy. We have done this all season and I am amazed at how well the players have handled it,” the tactician noted.
A win for Gor in the return game against Yanga in Dar will all but hand them golden quarter final opportunity with only two group matches left.