Were vows to find knack as DR Congo clash looms

Harambee Stars forward Jesse Jackson Were reacts against Uganda Cranes during their International Friendly match ...
Harambee Stars forward Jesse Jackson Were reacts against Uganda Cranes during their International Friendly match at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on March 23, 2017. They drew 1-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Kenyan international Jesse Were is confident he will soon break his goalscoring duck with the national team following yet another blunt display in the stalemate against Uganda Cranes on Thursday.

A clinical forward for Zambia’s Zesco United, Were has had starkly contrasting fortunes for the national team and was openly criticized by First Coach Stanley Okumbi for being ‘wasteful’ in their 1-1 draw with Uganda.

Were who finished second on the goalscoring charts at Zambian top division last term with 16 goals shrugged off his woes and backed himself to start shining ahead of their second friendly on Sunday against the highly rated DR Congo.

“Scoring goals takes the effort of an entire team and for me the goals will surely come. I’m a tested and proven striker at different levels and leagues so I cannot doubt myself.

“At the end of the day people have to appreciate scoring is not a one-man business, it a whole team’s affair. We will be misguided if we focus on an individual, but it is work of the individual player to assess their productivity and contribution for the team,” the former Tusker FC player charged.

His pairing with Guizhou Zicheng striker Michael Olunga has failed to produce the intended spark and while the former boasts a better record for the Stars, he was neither spared of attack by Okumbi.

A typically calm Okumbi lost his cool as Uganda struck in the 87th minute to deny Stars their third win on the bounce, lashing out at Were and Olunga for failing to replicate their forms for club when in the national colours.

“There are dynamics in national team football and club level football. We have to analyze it from that angle too. I’m however positive that we will have a better outing when we play Congo on Sunday,” Were stated.

Captain Victor Wanyama who plies his trade with English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur believes there room for improvement.

“We definitely should have had a better result against Uganda because we showed on the pitch we were the stronger side.

“But in football you have to utilize the chances you create and be focused until the end. I hope we will correct mistakes we noted in the Congo’s match,” Wanyama told Citizen Digital.

Okumbi maintained he wants to see goals in Sunday’s clash, having claimed a famous 1-0 away win against the DRC in Kinshasa last year.

“We are concentrating on our finishing because that was our main undoing in our previous fixture. Hopefully we will see improvement in our upcoming match.

“There will be some changes in the team but we still have some time to finalize on where exactly we execute them,” the soft-spoken tactacian remarked.

Among his first team players in camp who did not feature against Uganda are Captain Wanyama, Gor Mahia goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch, Zesco United’s David ‘Calabar’ Owino and USA-based David ‘Cheche’ Owino

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Story By Douglas Mutiso
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