Coach says they remain title favourites despite dropping points
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.
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.