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Title pressure not affecting Bandari- Mulumba

Bandari FC skipper Felly Mulumba (Second right) shares a joke with teammates Duncan Otewa and Wycliffe Ochomo during a past training session. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – Bandari FC skipper Felly Mulumba says talk that the Mombasa-based side should be considered as one of the favorites for this season’s Kenyan Premier League title has not heaped pressure on their shoulders.

Bandari who finished second last season have started the season on a high and are currently placed in the same position, only separated from leaders Mathare United by goal difference.

“It is absolutely not building pressure on us because that is not what is on our minds and we are not the ones who are saying we are title favorites. At the moment our strategy is taking a match at a time and remaining humble as we try to add more points,” Mulumba stated.

The dockers have picked up points against tough opposition this season, winning against champions Gor Mahia, Sofapaka and AFC Leopards and their performance in last month’s Sportpesa Super Cup further underlined their stature as one of the teams to watch in the title race.

Bandari FC skipper Felly Mulumba goes in for a tackle against Sofapaka forward John Avire during a Kenyan premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on December 16, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Mulumba has attributed their good performance to a solid squad and the fact that there is stiff competition in the team.

“We have a team that has stayed together for almost three seasons and understanding each other is easier. Training is also so competitive because everyone wants to be in the team. We are stronger as a unit now,” the defender stated.

He adds; “Our target when the season started was to ensure we finish in the top five and that still remains what we have pegged down as a goal. We will not be swayed or take our focus off our ambitions.”

Bandari play Kariobangi Sharks on Saturday at the Kasarani Stadium in what will be a repeat of the SportPesa Cup in Dar es Salaam, where Sharks ran off 1-0 winners.

Nonetheless, Mulumba says they will not have revenge on their minds.

Bandari FC skipper Felly Mulumba chases down Kariobangi Sharks’ forward George Abege during the SportPesa Cup final at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam in January 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“In football you have to accept defeat and on that day, Sharks won and they deserved to win. We can’t come into the match with a mentality of getting revenge. What happened in the past is behind us and this is a new ball game,” he stated.

“We are focused on going to get the three points. We know it will be a tough game because Sharks are very organized and tactically they are good. Playing away from home and getting a win is something that we really want to achieve,” the defender further noted.

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History is hugely stacked against the dockers as they have won only once, in Mombasa against Sharks who have won the remaining four ties.

Their only victory came in the second leg of last season when they won 3-0 in Mombasa having lost the first leg 1-0 in Machakos.

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