By Gilbert Wandera

AFC Leopards coach Nick Yakhama says his main focus is to help the club avoid relegation.

Yakhama said he is ready for the challenge and is determined to give Leopards’ fans renewed hope in the club.

"My aim is to remain in the league and prove that it can be done. Then we can think about next season after that. I understand it will not be easy but that is the reason I took the club," he said during a break in training at Ikulu grounds yesterday.

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Yakhama, a former international, said he is cherishing the challenge of helping Leopards get off from the bottom of the league standings and expressed confidence in the available players.

"The players are wonderful and the officials are supportive. We can do it," he said.

Yakhama said his main challenge as he begins work at the club is to start winning matches to move up in the standings.

"From where we are, we can only go up but to do that, we must start winning matches. There is no short-cut," said the former international.

Support Club

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He called on the fans to support effort put in by club officials and encouraged the players to give their best.

Yakhama, who parted ways with Western Stima last season, pointed out that the Kenya Premier League (KPL) has become very competitive and coaches must begin to deliver or face the axe.

"Football all over the world is getting more and more competitive with emphasis on results. Those who cannot deliver will not survive even in the KPL," pointed out Yakhama.

The new Leopards coach takes over from Edward Manoah, who resigned two weeks ago due to poor performance.

First Task

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His first task is to guide Leopards against second-placed Tusker FC at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.

Leopards go into the match a confident side after winning 3-2 against Western Stima last weekend.

The team has been boosted by the return of veteran players like Frankline Obare and Charles Okwemba.

In a related development, the club’s organising secretary Timothy Lilumbi has called on fans to give current officials support.

Lilumbi said the officials were working tirelessly to ensure that players’ welfare is taken care of.

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"We should avoid calling for changes in the executive at this time, considering that the club is doing poorly.

The fans should support us in helping the club survive relegation," he said.

AFC Leopards Nick Yakhama