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Winless AFC seeking boost with Vihiga visit

AFC Leopards head coach Marko Vasiljevic watches on during his side’s Kenyan Premier League clash against Sofapaka at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on December 22, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 28 – AFC Leopards, winless in their opening three games of the season will hope for a positive bounce when they take on Vihiga United in match day four of the Kenyan premier League on Saturday at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

Ingwe have picked up two points from two draws against kariobangi Sharks and Sofapaka while they suffered an embarrassing 3-0 loss away to kakamega Homeboyz.

The 13-time KPL champions are placed 15th in the league standings and head coach Marko Vasiljevic is optimistic they will soon find their groove.

“Day by day we will get better. I have done maybe just over 10 training sessions with the team since I came in and that is not enough time to make any big changes. But I see the players everyday and I see them improving,” the Serb said.

Vasiljevic took charge on a permanent basis after his would-be boss Nikola Kavazovic terminated his contract barely a month in to join South African top tier side Free State Stars.

AFC Leopards players line up before their Kenyan Premier League clash against Sofapaka at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on December 22, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Vasiljevic says he is confident he is equal to the task of guiding Leopards back to its glory days and has only asked for patience from the fans as he stretches out his philosophy into the team.

Biggest on his task of work to do is getting a solution to the team’s leaking defense, the side having conceded six goals in three matches.

“It is something that I know we will work on. We have improved since the first game. Another thing that we should improve is the finishing because we create chances but scoring has not been okay,” the tactician stated.

They come up against a Vihiga side that has posted mixed results in the opening games. Mike Mururi’s men who survived relegation by the skin of their teeth last season have drawn 1-1 against Chemelil Sugar and won 2-0 against Ulinzi Stars while their last assignment ended in a 1-0 loss at home against Sony Sugar.

Last season, the two sides drew 2-2 in the first leg while AFC ended up 1-0 winners in the return leg played in Mumias.

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KCB winger Simon Abuko tries to wheel away from Bandari FC defender Siraj Mohammed their Kenyan Premier League clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on December 22, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

In the early kick off, KCB will also be seeking their first win of the season when they take on Tusker FC. The bankers picked their first point sincxe a return to top flight football with a 1-1 draw at home against high flying Bandari.

Head coach Frank Ouna is optimistic that the team will battle for maximum points but is quick to note that it will take some time before the team becomes a fully-fledged perfect grinding machine.

“The 1-1 draw with Bandari marked turning point and probably a proper beginning of season for us. It was important to bounce back after back to back losses,” Ouna said.

He added; “It’s still work in progress. The pre-season was a bit different we couldn’t do much because of the short time we had. We have new players who are new to each other and we also have a coach who is new to the players as well,”

“It will take time; probably four five weeks from now we will begin to see more compact play from the team.”

Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano shouts instructions on the touchline during their Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield Quarter Final against Sofapaka at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on September 2, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The bankers face a Tusker side which picked its first win of the season last weekend thrashing Mount Kenya United 3-0 and head coach Robert Matano is eager to keep the winning trend.

“It was good to win after losing and drawing in the previous games but the task now is to be consistent with how we are playing and how we are getting results,” the tactician stated.

Tusker have also picked into the new season a rather new team which is still staggering trying to find its balance, but Matano believes they have shown the signs of a unit.

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