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No title pressure for Gor Mahia boss Polack

Gor Mahia head coach Steve Polack walks to his technical area during the Mashemeji Derby on November 10, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 21 – Despite having Tusker FC and Kakamega Homeboyz breathe heavily on their necks, Gor Mahia boss Steve Polack says he is feeling no title pressure as the season draws into the business end.

Gor lead the table with 45 points, four ahead of the brewers and Homeboyz, with the former having a match at hand, with 12 rounds of matches left.

“The good thing is that we are on top of the table and the rest of the teams are looking up at us. We are not under any pressure because our target is only looking at ourselves and winning our games. We are taking a game at a time,” Polack told Capital Sport.

He added; “I have faith in my players and the work they put in training and matches. I believe we will win the league and Gor Mahia will be the best team in the league when the season ends.”

Gor Mahia striker Juma Balinya celebrates his goal against Nzoia Sugar during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on February 2, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Gor have dominated the local league scene since 2013 and only Tusker have broken that dominance, winning the crown in 2016. It looks like the same will be repeated this season with the alemen looking like the surest bet to take K’Ogalo to the wall.

“We will keep doing what we do best and try to stay as calm as possible,” Polack added.

Winless in the last two matches, Gor look to get their groove back when they play away to Zoo Kericho on Sunday. They lost to Sofapaka 3-1 in Narok then drew 1-1 with Western Stima in Kisumu.

Targeting a bounce-back, Gor will have on paper a favorable opponent to vie for three points.

They face a Zoo side that has never beaten them in their seven Premier League meetings. Gor has won six games and drawn one, and only conceded four times.

Over their last three meetings, Gor has won 4-0, 4-0 and 1-0.

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Gor Mahia players Samuel Onyango and Ephraim Guikan celebrate one of the goals during their 4-0 win over Zoo Kericho at the Kasarani Stadium on December 12, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

“I really don’t look much on history and matches that have been played in the past. Yes, we have dominated them in the past and it’s a match we are expected to win easily. But we know they are hungry and want to come off where they are on the table. History is history and I don’t take anything for granted,” Polack explained.

Zoo are struggling for form and have lost six of their last eight matches. Their last victory was a 3-0 win at home against relegation battling Kisumu All Stars. Overall, they have won just four of their 19 matches this term.

Meanwhile, Polack believes his team is in the right frame of mind especially after the welcome distraction of playing in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Cup where they won 3-2 against Naivas to proceed to the third round.

The tactician says his players are in the right frame of mind and their attitude has been superb in training.

Gor Mahia defender Joash Onayngo piles pressure on Mathare United’s John Mwangi during their Kenyan Premier League clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on November 6, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

For the tie, Polack will miss the services of defender Joash Onyango who will be serving the first of his two match ban following his red card against Western Stima.

“He is a player that we will definitely miss because he is a good quality defender and when you lose a good player, there is definitely a big hole left. But I expect someone to take the chance and also show that he should be considered,” Polack added.

Apart from Onyango, Wellington Ochieng and Philemon Otieno, both with long term injuries will not be available just yet.

KPL Weekend Fixtures (kick off 3pm unless stated)

Saturday: Bandari vs Mathare United (Mombasa, 2pm), Posta Rangers vs KCB (Machakos), Western Stima vs Kariobangi Sharks (Kisumu), AFC Leopards vs Sofapaka (Mumias, 4pm).

Sunday: Homeboyz v Chemelil Sugar (Kakamega), Tusker FC v Wazito (Ruaraka), Ulinzi Stars vs Kisumu All Stars (Nakuru), Zoo Kericho vs Gor Mahia (Kericho).

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