Gor Mahia coach Oktay says it’s not time to party yet

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Saturday, May 4th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Gor Mahia coach Hassan Oktay insists the record Kenyan champions will keep on fighting to retain the Sportpesa Premier League title after they were held to a 3-3 draw by KCB in Machakos on Thursday.

Despite the draw, K'Ogalo who still have a game in hand, lead the standings with 59 points, seven more than closest title rivals Sofapaka.

And with less than eight matches to go, it evidently remains Gor's title to lose as they need at least five wins to lift a third consecutive league title.

Many will be expecting Oktay to replicate the achievements of his predecessor Dylan Kerr who clinched back to back league titles for the Green Army with a few matches to spare.

There is a sense of belief in Gor's camp, but with a hectic and congested fixtures schedule ahead of them, the Cypriot-Turkish coach has urged his charges to remain focused.

The 17-time league winners face off with Western Stima in Kisumu tomorrow before tackling Chemelil Sugar at the same venue on May 8. They will then battle Sofapaka in a crunch match four days later.

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"KCB game was a different test for us but I'm happy the boys showed character and got a point. Although I think it's still to early, we need to keep believing and keep our confidence going," said Oktay.

"We need to start learning on how to quickly rectify our mistakes and kill off games. We have to remain focused and take one game at a time. It's not yet celebration time.

"We are used to playing back to back games, so next week's matches won't make any difference to us."

Oktay's push for their 18th unprecedented title has been boosted by the return from injury of six key players led by midfielder Kenneth Muguna and goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch.

"It's not easy to play such matches with injuries and changes because sometimes they affect team balance, but we are trying our best to rotate the squad," he said.

"The good thing is we've welcomed back over six players including Muguna and Oluoch from injury. Francis Kahata is also back in training.

"We now have to fix things first,  keep on pushing then see what happens at the end of the season."