By GILBERT WANDERA
Harambee Stars stand in coach Zedekiah Otieno says next week's Nile Basin tournament provides them with an opportunity to make up for a poor outing in the regional tournament held in Tanzania.
Otieno, who was drafted into the team after former coach Jacob Mulee resigned in the wake of a poor showing in the Senior Challenge Cup said he aims to win at least two matches in the tournament to be hosted by Egypt.
"For us, winning two matches will be a great achievement and will help make up for our poor show in Tanzania last month," he said on the second day of training at Kasarani.
- Harambee Stars move two places in the latest FIFA ranking despite ban
- Stop Kenyan football's plunge into the abyss
- In whose hands is Kenyan football safe?
- Kenya risk being locked out of Afcon qualifiers
Kenya finished last in their group during the regional tournament bowing out without a win in what was the team’s worst performance in the recent past.
Despite former league champions Sofapaka withdrawing their more experienced players from the team, Otieno remains optimistic that he can still do well with what he has in camp.
"The players are responding well and are hungry to give their best. We are working on our defensive technique because with a good defence it is difficult to lose matches,"
"We have no major injuries with the exception of knocks here and there and the management has also assured us that issues of allowances will be sorted out so we have nothing to distract us," he said.
On the same vein, the Gor Mahia tactician has admitted it is difficult juggling between club and national duty commitments and has called on Football Kenya to employ a permanent coach for the national team.
"It is hard enough handling the club and more difficult adding national duties on it. While I’m here, my club is missing out but it is encouraging to note that will be back by mid January so I can spend one month with them before the league kicks-off," he said.
He said the other reason to have a coach who is not affiliated to any club is to avoid bias in team selection.
Asked whether he would consider taking up the position on a permanent basis, Otieno said it will depend on what offer is placed on the table.
"It is a difficult question to answer now because I’m still attached to Gor Mahia, but if I receive a good offer, I will consider it because everyone wants to grow and become better," he said.
Harambee Stars leave in the wee hours of Monday morning for Cairo to take part in the Six-Nation tournament, which kicks off on January 5. They play their opening match against Sudan.