Okumbi bullish despite All Stars blunt display against Sharks


Harambee Stars first coach, Stanley Okumbi, during training for the 2017 Afcon qualifier against Congo at ...
Harambee Stars first coach, Stanley Okumbi, during training for the 2017 Afcon qualifier against Congo at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani on June 05, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) All Stars head coach, Stanley Okumbi, remains upbeat about the chances of the team upsetting Hull City despite being held to a barren draw by Kariobangi Sharks on Sunday.

All Stars were playing their last build up match before travelling to the United Kingdom on Wednesday where they will take on the struggling English Premier League side in the first of two friendlies next weekend.

Okumbi, the national team Harambee Stars First Coach could not lead his side past his former club Sharks who are preparing for life in the domestic top flight after earning promotion last season.

“This was a test match to gauge the players and I can give them 80 percent for teamwork though we need to work on how to utilize the chances we get if we want to perform well.

“Sharks is a strong side and they played well,” Okumbi said in post match interview after the encounter played at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani.

Okumbi noted the absence of striker Alan Wanga, midfielder Humphrey Mieno, defender James Situma and keeper David Okello who were away with KPL champions, Tusker FC in Mauritius denied his side quality and experience.

The coach will take the side through a final training session on Monday before their departure to England with Okumbi stating the All Stars team has lessened the burden of selecting the national team for future assignments.

“Most of the players here have never been called up for national duty. It is good for me because I can easily monitor them and know who to name for the team,” Okumbi explained.

Sharks captain, Ishmael Kariuki was delighted with the afternoon’s work after shutting out All Stars in a game they dominated for long stretches.

“This match was vital for us because we got to test the kind of opposition we will face in the KPL. At least we know how the play and it reduced the tension.

“We will not be going for the title when the league starts but we shall handle one match at a time. We are looking forward to a fruitful season,” Kariuki emphasised.

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