NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – Gor Mahia head coach Carlos Manuel vaz Pinto is confident the team will qualify for the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup as they prepare to host Zambia’s Napsa Stars in the first leg on Saturday in Nairobi.
A win against the Zambians over the two legs will earn Gor a place in the group stages for the third time in four years and Pinto is keen on achieving this.
“We always know that the games in CAF are different from the games in the league. We know that Napsa have not started the season well in Zambia but again the CAF games are a different story. We have started analysing our opponents and will prepare well for the two games,” stated the tactician.
Gor are looking to get into the ‘money bracket’ of continental football and will hope to do better than two years back when they reached the quarter finals.
“This is our goal to reach the group stages. It is important to not only Gor Mahia but to Kenya and of course, all the players dream of playing at this stage. It gives them some different image outside the country but the most important for Gor is to get better CAF rankings,” the tactician offered.
Gor warmed up for the Napsa two-legged tie with a cold Mashemeji Derby draw against arch-rivals AFC Leopards last Sunday with the coach noting he picked up several lessons to help them work on improving for the important duel.
Reflecting back on the derby, Pinto said he was not pleased with the result but notes the positives were there as well, especially the fact that they kept a clean sheet.
“I am not happy with result because we always play to win games. We played very well in the first half and we created some chances but we didn’t score. That is something that we need to work on and improve,” he says.
Pinto added; “We didn’t concede goals and when I came in, this was the main problem in the team. Now we have improved because I don’t remember one clear chance our opponents had. I am happy because we are now better.”
He now switches his attention to Napsa with the tactician coming up against two former Gor Mahia players, defender David Odhiambo and goalkeeper Shabaan Odhoji.