Relegation? Not a chance, says Mathare boss Kimanzi
Even as the relegation straps refuse to loosen on Mathare United, Coach Francis Kimanzi has refused to be caught up in talk that the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side just might be headed for the drop.
It would be a spectacular fall from grace for the team that won the 2008 KPL title and has consistently enjoyed mid-table comforts for the past decade.
Kimanzi cannot bring himself to imagining such scenario as he prepares his side for their clash against runaway league leaders Gor Mahia FC on Saturday.
Surprisingly, despite their struggles, Mathare is the only team beat Gor at home this season. Only two other sides – Western Stima and Sofapaka FC – have managed to take all three points from clashes with the record KPL champions.
“We are well prepared for the game, Gor is a big team which has been in good form but I am optimistic my guys will fight hard to get the three points,” Kimanzi said.
The Slum Boys are placed 15th on the log, level on 27 points with second and third from bottom sides Thika United and Western Stima. Muhoroni Youth are only three points adrift at the bottom but could leapfrog the trio should they win both of their games in hand.
Defeat against the high-flying K’Ogalo could all but deflate Mathare’s resolve to pull away from the relegation dogfight that continues to intensify by the week.
Kimanzi’s side defeated Gor by a solitary goal in the first leg match played in April with former K’Ogalo youth team prodigy Cliff Nyakeya scoring the lone goal for the visitors.
Mathare will be without keeper Wycliffe Kasaya who is out injured but the return of Daniel Mwaura, Ahmed Bosi Abdallah and Alfred Ndanyi certainly boost their morale.
It will however be a tough task stopping the K’Ogalo juggernaut as the 15-time champions look seal three of only five points they need to reach an unassailable 65 points and thus clinch the title.
-Report by Erastus Muturi
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