Tusker de­fi­ant

Coach says they re­main ti­tle favourites de­spite drop­ping points

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY FRAN­CIS WADEGU AND PHILIP ONYNAGO/

With the cham­pi­onship race head­ing for the home straight, SportPe­saPremier League lead­ers Tusker have main­tained the ti­tle is theirs to lose de­spite see­ing their seem­ingly in­sur­mount­able seven points lead sliced in the space of a week by three time hold­ers Gor Mahia.

The brew­ers coach Paul Nkata, who has been cred­ited with turn­ing around the for­tunes of the 10-time cham­pi­ons af­ter three years with­out the top flight ti­tle, re­it­er­ated that all is still to play for but the ad­van­tage re­mains with them.

“Our fate is in our hands. We are still at the top of the ta­ble. That is where we are at this point. What is hap­pen­ing is that peo­ple are look­ing at us los­ing points in the re­main­ing games while for­get­ting that there is also the pos­si­bil­ity that we can main­tain the lead for the rest of the sea­son,” said Nkata ahead of to­day’s clash with base­ment side Nairobi City Stars.

Nkata re­ceived wide­spread con­dem­na­tion for post-match al­le­ga­tions he made against the match of­fi­cials for award­ing a penalty in their tie against Ushuru. He said his charges are well equipped to deal with the pres­sure of be­ing top of the ta­ble.

“Lead­ing by two points doesn’t put any pres­sure on us and it doesn’t mean that we are los­ing steam. Even if we win the league with a sin­gle point, we shall be de­serv­ing of the ti­tle,” he added.

Striker Al­lan Wanga’s goal scoring form will be piv­otal to Tusker if they are to keep Gor at bay in what has now turned into a two-horse race for the cham­pi­onship.

Vic­tory for the brew­ers to­day will push City Stars closer to the rel­e­ga­tion door as they have a mas­sive nine point gap to bridge in their last half a dozen matches.

Cham­pi­ons Gor, who have the mo­men­tum on their side will not be in ac­tion un­til Sun­day when they en­ter­tain an­other side fac­ing the drop, So­fa­paka. Six points in their last two matches against top notch op­po­nents Ulinzi Stars and Chemelil Su­gar, has re-awak­ened the 15-time cham­pi­ons and pushed them to the verge of mak­ing yet an­other piece of his­tory by claim­ing an un­prece­dented fourth suc­ces­sive league ti­tle.

Else­where, Ban­dari foot­ball club will not be dis­tracted by calls from a sec­tion of the team to over­haul the team but will in­stead step up their pur­suit for a top eight fin­ish when they host City Stars in a Sport­sPesa Pre­mier League match in Mom­basa to­mor­row.Tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, Ed­ward Oduor, said they have agreed with the tech­ni­cal bench to ig­nore de­struc­tors who are call­ing for the trans­for­ma­tion of the team into a com­mu­nity club.

“Th­ese are busy bod­ies who have com­pletely noth­ing to of­fer the club but will in­stead be happy to see the team dis­in­te­grate,” said Oduor, who also a for­mer Haram­bee Stars team man­ager.

/PIC- CEN­TRE

Clif­ford Al­wanga (Top) and Dan­son Kago of Tusker chal­lenge Phile­mon Otieno (partly hid­den) of Ushuru dur­ing their SportPesa Pre­mier League tie at the Nyayo Sta­dium on Septem­ber 11.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.