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Tricky balance for Gor as Sofa, AFC lie in wait

Gor Mahia head coach Dylan Kerr reacts during their CAF Confederations Cup match against Rayon Sport at the Kasarani Stadium on August 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21 – Gor Mahia head coach Dylan kerr is faced with a huge headache ahead of him with a possibly fate defining next two weeks in wait.

The British tactician could wrap up a second league title since joining Gor over the next two matches; Sofapaka on Wednesday in Narok and arch rivals AFC Leopards on Saturday at the Kasarani Stadium.

But, he has a do-or-die clash against USM Alger in the CAF Confederations Cup on August 29 to look out for.

A loss to Rwanda’s rayon Sport on Sunday night put the record 16-time Kenyan Premier League champions in a precarious situation as far as their continental ambitions are concerned and the now have to go to North Africa and pull out a win beyond all costs.

“It is tough for us and the FKF and KPL should have helped us by shelving some of these fixtures, but they refused. What can we do? We have two crucial games, very tough games and one is against our big rivals and then we have to look at USM which is a must win game. We have to make tough decisions,” the tactician said.

Kerr has either to rest some of his key players for one of the two league matches or both and preserve them for USM Alger. But, the game against AFC on Saturday is not just your ordinary match. It is the battle for bragging rights.

The Gor Mahia that started their CAF Confederations Cup match against Rayon Sport at the Kasarani Stadium on August 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“We will look at who is fresh and who is ready for that game but to be honest, our focus is on the USM match,” the tactician noted.

Gor would have wrapped up a spot in the quarter finals had they even drawn against Rayon in Nairobi, but they couldn’t get a way past the Rwandese.

“We prepared well, we worked hard and the atmosphere in training was great but it just didn’t happen. Credit to Rayon, they came here to win and basically made us work hard. We didn’t click. In the first half we conceded an early goal which is unlike us and we gave the ball away too many times,” the tactician said.

“No excuses, it just wasn’t our day. It just didn’t work for us,” a dejected Kerr further noted.

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He said that their tough run of citures hasn’t given them time to prepare well as most of the sessions have just been more of recovery than working on tactical preparation for the next game.

His sentiments were shared by skipper Harun Shakava who said the players are suffering from fatigue while most of them are playing beyond the pain barrier carrying injuries.

Gor Mahia striker Francis Mustafa vies for the ball against Rayon Sport’s Abdul Rwatubyaye in a CAF Confederations Cup match at the Kasarani Stadium on August 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

‘It is very tough because we are genuinely tired. Travelling, playing, recovering… it takes a toll on players. We have players who are playing with injuries and it is hard to demand 100 percent from them. We asked the federation and KPL to postpone some of our games but they refused,” the defender noted.

He added; “We are out here representing Kenya and it is not good to see that we don’t get enough support. But we will fight on, all is not lost,” Shakava opined.

The team is still optimistic they will pull off the success of going into the Confederations Cup quarter finals, despite needing all points away to USM.

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