Tusker take on Muhoroni in KPL crunch match

Muhoroni Youth FC goalkeeper Faruk Shikalo and teammates celebrate victory against Bandari FC during their ...
Muhoroni Youth FC goalkeeper Faruk Shikalo and teammates celebrate victory against Bandari FC during their Sportpesa Premier League match at Muhoroni stadium on April 10, 2016. Muhoroni Youth won 1-0. Photo/Oliver Ananda /www.sportpicha.com

Muhoroni Youth FC will not be a walk in the park for title-chasing Tusker FC when the two Kenyan Premier League (KPL) sides clash on Friday in Nakuru, with the league leaders having already declared that their remaining six matches are all must-wins.

Muhoroni’s assistant coach, Tom Juma, has fired back a warning shot at the Brewers’ camp saying that side will be going for nothing less than a win and describing the match as ‘vital’ in achieving their targets for the season.

“Certainly it will be a very exciting fixture, we are playing them when they have made it clear they want to win all matches ahead. We are not concentrating on the competition between them and Gor Mahia but our target; to better our last season’s sixth place finish.

“Just like the top clubs in the title race are counting each match crucial to them, we also know what we want from every match. In this case, we want maximum points, we know it is difficult but possible,” the former Harambee Stars midfielder told Citizen Digital.

Juma opined the pressure that their opponents have acknowledged could work either to their positive or negative, referring to Coach Paul Nkata’s sentiments who formerly coached Muhoroni before joining the Ruaraka-based side.

“I think it is yes or no, being under pressure does not always cast you to the losing side, and sometimes best results are registered when a team feels a lot of pressure. It depends with how they handle it.

“The team’s mentality matters most in such a situation, for me they have experienced players who should be able to handle it,” answered the tactician, asked if the pressure Tusker are under could further cost them.

Muhoroni is currently placed ninth with 33 points, just four adrift Mathare United at fifth, the least position they target at the end of the season.

The John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla coached side will miss their injured top scorer Wycliffe Ochomo (12) and influential defender James Ogada in the match.

“The two won’t feature but it should not be an excuse for anything, we have proper replacements for them. We would want Ochomo to go on and lift the golden boot because he has worked hard for it despite missing several matches, but he can still make it if he does well in the remaining matches when he resumes,” added Juma.

If they lose to Muhoroni, Tusker will surrender their summit position to 15-times champions Gor Mahia who play struggling Sofapaka on Sunday, currently trailing them by only two points.

Meanwhile, Juma has attributed the tough competition in the league to improved structures and sponsorship this season.

“Number one is good sponsors who have come on board especially for the top clubs. For us Muhoroni we are still young in the premier league compared to some of these clubs but our aim is to impress more that we attract big interests from sponsors.

“We cannot also ignore the fact that management of clubs is steadily improving in the league,” concluded Juma.

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