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No pressure for AFC Leopards coach Patrick Aussems ahead of Mathare United fixture

Posta Rangers FC and AFC Leopards clash during an FKF Premier League match at Ruaraka grounds on Saturday, May 22, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, The Standard]

AFC Leopards coach Patrick Aussems has urged his charges to remain focused as he aims to help the club end its 22-year Premier League title drought.

According to the Belgian, he will not let anything block his vision, not even a temporary place at the top of the league standings for a day or two.

Ingwe have a realistic chance of moving joint-top of the FKF Premier League table with KCB (36 points) today if they beat struggling Mathare United at Ruaraka Grounds.

But Aussems has strongly cautioned against premature celebrations that might come with their temporary ascendency to the summit.

A victory with a big margin (4 goals plus) at Ruaraka will see Ingwe lead the table for the first time in many months.

However, the former Simba SC coach wants Ingwe players and fans to stick their eyes on the big prize which is to win the elusive title at the end of the season.

“If we win on Thursday, then we will be at the top, but (being at the) top is not important right now,” Aussems said after his side was held to a barren draw by Posta Rangers last weekend.

And even as Aussems lamented poor officiating and the state of the pitch for their stalemate against the mailmen, he knows this is equally an important game for Mathare United, who are coming off a 2-2 draw with Nzoia Sugar.

AFC Leopards' coach Patrick Aussems during a past FKF Premier league match against Nzoia FC at Ruaraka grounds. [Jonah Onyango, The Standard]

But he believes their one game in hand gives them a chance to continue piling pressure on the leading pack as the race for the CAF Champions League qualification hots up.

Leopards are currently third on the log with 33 points, two behind second-placed Tusker. On the other hand, Mathare, who recently acquired the services of former Harambee Stars assistant coach Frank Ouna, are rooted at the bottom of the table with a paltry eight points.

 “Pressure is for the bears and wolves, so that’s not a problem. We still have one game remaining and if we win, we will be at the top. I know at the end of June there will be something special but after that, the league will finish in August,” said Aussems.

“You need to know that we played 10 against 15 today (Saturday). Eleven players from Posta, the pitch and the three referees. I don’t like talking about the referees, but everything was against us. We need to have a good recovery because on Thursday we will be back in action, but I hope not on this pitch again.”

Just like AFC, Gor Mahia will be seeking to narrow the gap on the league leaders KCB when they battle with Vihiga United in Mumias.

A win for the record champions will see them take their points tally to 28. and leapfrog Bandari into the fifth spot.

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