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SPL round nine talking points

Gor Mahia bagged three points together with the bragging rights in the Mashemeji Derby, convincingly beating AFC Leopards 3-0, thriving Posta Rangers maintained their hold at the top of the league with a narrow win over formidable Sofapaka as debutants Zoo Kericho and Kariobangi Sharks came out victorious on a weekend of upsets and surprises. Plenty to talk about.

Gor Mahia coach Marcelo Ferreira: “These players deserve a lot of respect (beat AFC Leopards 3-0). Do you see the fans? They usually want to win every game and so I am happy for them and for my players as well. We work very hard as a team because every club we meet comes with a point to prove. Today all players came with a very clear understanding of what a derby is and they each played very well. Every department was working and the pleasure is not mine, but for the fans.

AFC Leopards coach Stewart Hall: “We were terrible (lost 0-3 to Gor Mahia). We lost the match in the first 15 minutes. It is like the players were an electronic device and someone took the battery out. We couldn't keep the ball at all. We were just running around like scared rabbits. With that kind of performance, there is nothing your substitutions can do to help the situations. I feel bad for the fans. If I could, I would have given all of them their Sh300 back. We have very young boys in the squad. How many of them have played in a derby? - less than five. They couldn’t take the pressure.”

Bandari coach Paul Nkata: “We don’t depend on senior layers in this team (beat Mathare United (1-0). Players are selected based on merit. That is why you can see so many veteran players starting from the bench. Every game is different and I make selection based on the strategy we are using and the general performance of individual players at that time. I am happy with this victory because it is not easy for the boys travelling from Mombasa to Machakos, and then playing a top team like Sofapaka.”

Thika United coach James Nandwa: “When we were preparing for the game against Ulinzi Stars, we concentrated on sharpening our attack, but it worked against us because we forget that we need to also defend (lost 2-3 to Ulinzi Stars). We were caught exposed several times, especially in the first half, and we couldn’t get back in the game. Credit to the strikers however, because they were able to pull back two goals before were ran out of time.”

Kakamega Homeboyz coach Mike Mururi: “We created so many chances, but we didn’t have even one shot on target in the second half (lost 0-1 to Tusker). That is a very bad sign. If we are not clinical on goal then we are in trouble. Why? We will not win. On the happy side, I am happy with the output of the players. Apart from wasting chances, I think they played very well and gave a good challenge to Tusker, who are the reigning champions remember.”

Kariobangi Sharks coach William Muluya: “We have not found our rhythm yet, but I think what’s working for us is the increased confidence (beat Sony Sugar 2-0). They have put the stage fright of playing at this level behind them and at least now they believe in themselves more. Whenever we are heading for a match they say that they can win and they play better. I think that is a good place to start from. Because without being psychologically prepared for your opponent there is little you can do to win a game. Now we need to find our rhythm. We are good time and will not show fear for any team.”

Mathare United assistant coach Salim Ali: “Sometimes it gets frustrating for the boys, when you lose several games in a row (lost 0-1 to Bandari). I can tell that the morale is going down and we urgently need to regroup. We have a relatively inexperienced side but it is through games like these that the players will learn what the Premier League is about.”

Sofapaka coach Sam Ssimbwa: “We are here to compete, not to participate (lost 0-1 to Posta Rangers). We lost against Posta Rangers, but it is not the end of the road. We can still pick ourselves up and get more wins in the next games. “







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