NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 2 – They showed promise of being an outside force in the race for this season’s Kenyan Premier League title, but the month of March has seen bandari spiral down the pecking order and their title hopes are now a little more of a mirage.
The dockers lost three of their five matches and drew two seeing then slip down to fourth in the standings with 33 points, eight behind leaders Gor.
“It happens in football that at some point in the season you just have a time when things are not working. There was nothing wrong with the team; there was no division, the players were njot playing badly but things just didn’t happen for us,” Mwalala stated.
Part of the reason for Bandari’s struggles has been their upturn in injuries. Striker Wycliffe Ochomo has been out on the long term with a broken elbow and now two more players have joined him out.
Defender Bernard Odhiambo has been ruled out for six months after tearing his Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (ACL) and will not return into action at least until October. Mustapha Oduor is also out having torn his meniscus and will be out for three months.
Striker David King’atua is out for three more weeks after pulling his hamstring.
“It is so hard as a coach when you have to change your team every week and you end up lacking the much needed consistency. It sees the results swing side to side and for you to fight for the title you need to have some consistent team and results as well,” Mwalala offered.
The tactician though is optimistic that the turn of a new month can bring a fresh wave of hope for the Coastal based side and starting off with Wednesday afternoon’s tie at home against struggling Mount Kenya United.
Mwalala believes the team is up for a change in fortunes though he knows it will not be an easy task against bottom side Mount Kenya who have lost four of their last five games.
“It is never easy playing against a side in the relegation zone especially at this time of the season because they are coming all out for points. On paper it may look easy but it will be a very tough game. We have prepared well for it though,”
“This is a new month and we want to start our revival here. It will be very important for us to win this game,” the tactician further stated.
Victory will see Bandari move to 36 points, same as Mathare United and Sofapaka who do not play until Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, under-performing Tusker FC will be out to revive their minute title chances when they play Western Stima in Machakos. The alemen have won only once in their last five games and are placed fifth with 29 points. Tenth placed Stima have not won any of their last five games.
KPL Midweek games
Wednesday: Tusker FC v Western Stima, KCB v Mathare United (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Sony Sugar v Gor Mahia (Kisumu), Bandari v Mount Kenya United (Mombasa), Kakamega Homeboyz v Ulinzi Stars (Kakamega).
Thursday: Kariobangi Sharks v Zoo Kericho, Sofapaka v Vihiga United, AFC Leopards v Chemelil Sugar (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Nzoia Sugar v Posta Rangers (Bungoma).