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Marcelo Ferreira @KPL
Marcelo Ferreira @KPL

SPL round 11 talking points

Gor Mahia, Posta Rangers, Ulinzi Stars and Tusker occupy the top four league positions, but the big surprise is debutantes Kariobangi Sharks’ rise to fifth place after a rather shaky start. AFC Leopards continue to struggle as victory eluded them while Mathare United’s misery piled up to sink them to 15th.

Zoo Kericho coach Sammy Okoth: “I have lost two points today (drew 1-1 with AFC Leopards). This game was ours but we threw it away due to lack of concentration. We lost five consecutive games at the beginning of this season because the players were still familiarizing themselves with the Premier League. We now know what it takes to play at this level, and I am sure that we shall perform even better as we go deep into the season.”

AFC Leopards assistant coach Dennis Kitambi: “Our problem is on set pieces (drew 1-1 with Zoo Kericho). It could be positioning and it could be lack of concentration, but we have to work on handling set pieces because we have conceded goals from set pieces for four consecutive games. That is not acceptable. In this match, the boys played according to instructions in the first 20 minutes. They didn’t come back strongly in the second half and we rightly conceded the goal. After we conceded, we became too anxious and forgot that we were supposed to play the ball down. We kept playing the ball forward due to the pressure and it is by good luck that we found the equaliser. Fiamenyo is a special player when he turns up.”

Posta Rangers coach Sammy Omollo: “We had to use long balls for the entire match because the pitch was very muddy (drew 0-0 with Nakumatt). It was impossible to apply our strategy. Ball control in such a pitch, under those conditions was a big problem.”

Nakumatt coach Anthony Mwangi: “I can blame the rain (drew 0-0 with Posta Rangers). If it wasn’t for the rain I am sure we could have finished with three points. I felt we were playing well and were looking likely to score until the rain starting falling and conditions changed.”

Gor Mahia coach Marcelo Ferreira: “We are at a good place, but the difficult job still remains winning every match so that we can remain up there (beat Nzoia Sugar 1-0).”

Nzoia Sugar coach Bernard Mwalala: “We conceded early, and were not able to get back in the game (lost 1-0 to Gor Mahia). In the opening stages of the game my players were very enthusiastic and created many chances. We were playing without fear until we conceded. When (Meddie) Kagere scored that goal it changed the complexion of the game. But we are learning and adopting.”

Kariobangi Sharks coach William Muluya: “We have three points but it was a fight (beat Bandari 1-0). Persistence is what helped us today. You could see that the boys were struggling especially in the second half but they kept going. We have been winning by such slim victories but I am contented. Three points is good enough.”

Bandari coach Paul Nkata: “These players are tired (lost 1-0 to Kariobangi Sharks). Fatigue is a major issue in my team. We are almost always on the road traveling long distances to honour matches. This takes a toll on the players and that is why we really struggled especially in the second half. At least for the next fixture we shall have some seven days of rest so I expect that we shall play better against Zoo Kericho.”

Tusker coach George Nsimbe: “We changed the squad and included many fresh players just to promote competition within the team (beat Sony Sugar 2-1). That is working very well for us because everybody now wants to give their best. Even during training the team, the players are more committed and do their exercises without supervision because they know what is at stake. This is good and healthy, and we are back on track – I can say that.”







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