If Tusker head coach Robert Matano was to make a wish, it would, most certainly, be for his players to remain focused as they plot on overthrowing Kenyan Premier League leaders, Gor Mahia.
But then again, just wishing doesn’t make that so. They need action and precise execution of their duties on the field. They need to build a dominant defence; remain impenetrable. Build a midfield full of talent, composure, vision, and anticipation. Scoring goals ought to be, at least, the hobby.
So, when they meet struggling Kisumu All-Stars today, ingredients of a well-oiled unit ought to be in full display.
The breweries head into the mid-week fixture second in the table behind Gor Mahia with 31 points after going unbeaten in nine consecutive matches and coach Matano is upbeat of reclaiming the top spot.
“The team has been playing very well for the past two months and I expect the same against All-Stars. The goals have been coming recently and the confidence is high among the strikers,” said the tactician with a touch of belief.
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The former Ulinzi coach, who is riding high on Tusker’s record-breaking 7-1 win over Chemelil Sugar, said he believes victory against All-Stars will be a major test of the club’s ability to deal with their increased expectations.
“Our main focus remains on maintaining pressure against defending champions Gor Mahia, who have been dominant in such situations. We have to be consistent because they have two matches to play and if we can keep winning, then we will be in a good position to dethrone them, should they slip,” he said.
However, Kisumu All Stars interim coach Arthur Opiyo said his side has not given up on turning around their misfortunes that has seen the club fight for survival in their debut season after their promotion from the super league last year.
Opiyo, who took over from Henry Omino who was sacked on Monday, said they are keen on starting afresh against Tusker.
“Tusker is a very strong side especially when playing at home but we are confident that if we execute everything as we have been doing in our training sessions, then we can stop them,” said Opiyo.
“We are coming into the match after some management changes were done, but the players are ready for the match.”
Kisumu All-Stars have lost 11 in 15 rounds of matches and are sitting at the relegation zone with eight points.
In Kericho, third-placed Kakamega Homeboyz will be seeking to keep tabs on leaders Gor and Tusker when they visit Zoo Kericho.
Western Stima will host Mathare United at Moi Stadium in Kisumu as Nzoia Sugar, who dished out KPL’s sixth walkover of the season, host bottom-placed Chemelil Sugar.
In Nakuru, Wazito will be keen to bounce back to winning ways against Ulinzi Stars especially after beefing up their squad with five new players.
At the same time, AFC Leopards will visit Posta Rangers, KCB welcome Sofapaka and Kariobangi Sharks host Bandari.
Gor Mahia will not be in action until the weekend.