Kerr urges focus as Gor Mahia near coronation

By alex wafula
Oct 13, 2017
  • Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr is unrelenting and wants all the remaining 21 points despite a healthy lead. (SNA. File Photo)

Gor Mahia are only six points away from their 16th Kenyan Premier League title.

A win in their next two matches is all they need after opening an unassailable lead at the top. No has a mathematical chance of winning the title but Gor Mahia.

But even with such a healthy lead and the scent of victory blowing in their noses, Dylan Kerr, the Gor Mahia coach wants all the 21 points from the remaining seven matches.

“I am not thinking about the title and I have told the players as well not to think about it. We cannot lose focus right now because football can be interesting at times. The same focus we have had since I came in here is the same we should have for the remaining seven matches,” Kerr told Sports News Arena.

“Of course my target when I came here was to win the title. But we need to go a step at a time and see how things work out,” he added. Kerr has not lost since his arrival in July.

He comes up against a tricky relegation-fighting Mathare United, the last team to inflict a defeat to K’Ogalo.

The tactician who has been a regular at the stadia whenever Gor is not playing has already analyzed his opponents and is sure not to let his guard down despite the Slum Boys’ position on the log.

“They have very good young players who run a lot and tactically, they cannot be underrated. I watched them play Homeboyz in Nairobi and I think they are a pretty decent side,” Kerr stated.

Mathare’s first leg win over Gor Mahia was only the second they registered since the 2009 season.

Gor has lost to Mathare twice

Overall, over the last 17 matches, Gor Mahia has only lost to Mathare United twice while winning eight and drawing seven.

Francis Kimanzi’s charges have failed to win over their last five matches, their last victory coming at home against Western Stima, courtesy of a stoppage time winner. They are 15th on the log, four away from safety.

Meanwhile, Western Stima, Muhoroni Youth and Thika United hope to capitalize on any slip ups by Mathare United in the fight for survival.

The most brutal battle is expected in Kisumu when Western Stima host Thika United. Western Stima are 17th on the standings with 26 points while Thika United are a spot above them with 27 points.

Nicholas Muyoti, the Thika United boss has made it clear that the clash against Stima will define hugely whether or not they will earn a place in the safety lock.

“That is a very crucial match and if we are serious about our fight for survival, it is one of the games we must win. It will be tough, but we have a lot of belief in the squad which I believe will carry us through,” Muyoti commented.

Both teams have collected four points off their last two matches, Thika United being the most fresh from victory having beaten Kariobangi Sharks 1-0 at home.

Western Stima drew 1-1 in midweek match against Nakumatt. The first leg at the Thika Sub-County Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw setting up the scene for the return match.

Muhoroni Youth will be in Nairobi to face Tusker FC, the defending champions.

The sugar belt side returns to the ground they famously whisked off with a slim 4-3 win against Nakumatt under new coach George Maina.

Tusker gunning for top three

Tusker FC could be arithmetically out of contention and are gunning for a top-three finish. They were held to a barren draw by Kariobangi Sharks in midweek match.

“The difference between us and number two is just five points and if we can do our best in the remaining five games, then I think we can manage. Muhoroni is not an easy side because they will come fighting for their lives. We should be very cautious,” coach George Nsimbe observed.

At the same time, Nakumatt, Zoo Kericho and AFC Leopards who are tinkering precariously above the relegation zone and will be hunting for maximum points to avoid a drag-down.

Zoo Kericho will be playing at home against Ulinzi Stars, a side they beat 2-1 in the first leg in Nakuru while Nakumatt are away to Kakamega Homeboyz.

Limping AFC Leopards play away to Posta Rangers in Narok with a depleted squad. Keziron Kizito, Aziz Okaka and Vincent Oburu are injured.

But, they will be boosted by the return of Robinson Kamura and Dennis Sikhayi who were away on international duty.

KPL weekend fixtures (All games kick off 3 p.m.)

Saturday: AFC Leopards v Posta Rangers (Narok Stadium), Bandari v Sofapaka (Mbaraki Complex, Mombasa), Kariobangi Sharks v Chemelil Sugar (Kasarani Stadium), Mathare United v Gor Mahia (Thika Stadium), Zoo Kericho v Ulinzi Stars (Kericho Green Stadium).

Sunday: Kakamega Homeboyz v Nakumatt (Mumias Complex), SoNy Sugar v Nzoia Sugar (Awendo), Tusker FC v Muhoroni Youth (Ruaraka), Western Stima v Thika United (Moi Stadium, Kisumu).