Last updated 7 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi
Who will stop Gor Mahia from retaining the title if big teams don’t beat them, asks Mwalala.
Bandari coach Bernard Mwalala feels it will be difficult to stop Gor Mahia from winning their fourth consecutive KPL title if the ‘big’ and financially stable teams continue dropping points against K’Ogalo.
The domestic cup holders clash with their new-found rivals and league leaders, Gor Mahia, in Mombasa at 3pm today as the league enters round 11.
Since ending their 18 year title drought in 2013, Gor have gone on to dominate the Kenya Premier League winning six of the last seven titles and a record 18 titles.
Despite their financial constraints, Gor -- who were eliminated at the same stage of the Caf Confederation Cup together with Bandari -- have perfectly redeemed themselves in the league, losing only once to Mathare United (1-0).
With two games in hand, Steve Polack’s men have garnered 21 points, three points more than second-placed Posta Rangers after victories over the likes of Tusker (5-2), KCB (2-1), AFC Leopards (4-1) and Kakamega Homeboyz (3-0).
This is something that Mwalala is not happy with, as he plots to use their home record to stop Gor.
Though the former Kenyan international is positive ahead of the fixture, he is worried of the widening gap between his side and the top teams after the dockers lost three points following Sony Sugar’s relegation.
“Yeah, I am positive but at the moment the league is a bit tricky after we lost our three points against Sony Sugar following their relegation.
“Unless you beat Gor Mahia, catching up with them at the top will be difficult,” Mwalala told Standard Sports.
“Luckily for Gor, their points are still intact because they didn’t play with Sony. So, we need to try our best and close that gap and become one of the title contenders.”
Mwalala added: “Of course, we expected big and financially stable clubs like Bandari, Tusker, AFC Leopards, Ulinzi Stars and Homeboyz to get points on each other and also against Gor Mahia.
“But unfortunately, most of them have lost against Gor Mahia. So, if the big teams drop points against Gor Mahia, who will stop them? By doing this, we are simply handing Gor the title again.
However, the dockers have a mountain to climb if their recent form is anything to go by. Apart from their 1-0 win over relegated Sony and walk over against Chemelil Sugar, the coastal side has not won a single game in their last nine competitive outings.
But having won their last two home matches against K’Ogalo, Mwalala is looking forward to making Gor’s visit at the Coast difficult again.
“We have been performing well in most of the matches but we don’t get the results. Getting that point against AFC Leopards (2-2) indicates that we have moved a notch higher after a bad run.
Since losing to US Barden, though we qualified to the next round, we have not won a single game. “But we motivated by our home record... We have done it before against Gor Mahia here in Mombasa and I think we can do it again. For us to reach up there and make the league competitive, we must beat them.”