Muluya calls for patience as blunt Sharks struggle on


Muluya calls for patience as blunt Sharks struggle on
Kariobangi Sharks FC players and technical bench pray during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match against Kakamega Homeboyz fc at Camp Toyoyo stadium, Jericho in Nairobi on April 21, 2018. Kakamega Homeboyz FC won 2-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha.

In Summary

  • Kariobangi Sharks have been a pale shadow of themselves in the second leg of the Kenyan Premier League, considering their superb form in the first half where they topped the table intermittently with other contenders.
  • Since the league resumption after the March – May Covid-19 break, Sharks have won only once, and lost four matches consecutively leaving them a whopping 11 points off leaders KCB.

Kariobangi Sharks have been a pale shadow of themselves in the second leg of the Kenyan Premier League, considering their superb form in the first half where they topped the table intermittently with other contenders.

Since the league resumption after the March – May Covid-19 break, Sharks have won only once, and lost four matches consecutively leaving them a whopping 11 points off leaders KCB.

A narrow 1-0 win over Kakamega Homeboyz on May 14 was followed by losses against Ulinzi Stars, Nairobi City Stars and Wazito, before the latest fall to Tusker, 1-0 on Sunday.

According to head coach William Muluya, his charges are struggling to score despite creating chances, but are hopeful they will regain their mettle soon and save their season target.

“Football sometimes requires a lot of patience. You work, don’t get what you want and the only measure is to go back to training and try to find solutions. We have not been clinical when we get chances, but we have to work on it. As soon as we reignite that scoring aspect, we will be able to register positive results,” said Muluya after Sunday’s loss.

Sharks had a chance to claim a share of spoils against the brewers when captain Eric Kapaito won a penalty in the second half, but Douglas Mokaya could not beat youthful goalkeeper Michael Wanjala.

Muluya shielded Kapaito when asked why the leading Premier League scorer (14) and the captain of the side failed to step up for the spot kick, leaving a greenhorn Mokaya to execute when they desperately needed an equaliser.

“It is a bother when you lose scoring opportunities including a penalty for sure, but again we cannot expect Kapaito to be doing everything. It’s not a personal responsibility but a team’s responsibility, so it’s not automatic that he is the man to take every penalty that comes our way.”

Universally, Golden Boot chasing players and captains are given the advantage to increase their tallies through penalties, but there was probably an underlying reason for Kapaito’s decision to  keep off the duty, at least on this day.

“But their goalkeeper (Wanjala) played well. This is the third time he is denying us from the spot within this season. In the first leg he stopped Kapaito’s penalty, did the same during the Cup and now he has saved Mokaya’s penalty today,” said Muluya, acknowledging the former Bungoma Superstars prowess between the sticks, more so from dead ball situations.

His opposite number Robert Matano also praised Wanjala who came on as a substitute after Robert Mboya was injured, saying he has a special eye for penalty kicks.

“I didn’t want to look at it, but I knew he would save. Wanjala is so good at saving penalties, just like Mboya. When we have them between the posts and opponents are awarded penalties, we always feel covered,” said a smiling Matano.

For Muluya, he believes it is just a matter of time before Kapaito rediscovers his scoring form to help Sharks finish strongly.

“I was relaxed on the bench in today’s match (Sunday) because my players were playing well. You can’t always be shouting even when the plan is being executed. For Kapaito, he recovered from an injury just the other day so we can’t over demand from him. I’m sure he will soon be back to his full potential,” he noted.

Sharks have an away match to Bandari on Friday in their next league assignment, another side that has lost their mojo failing to win in six consecutive league duels.

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