5 October 2017

Kenya: Matano Signals Radical Surgery Plans at AFC

Nairobi — AFC Leopards head coach Robert Matano has disclosed that the team is set to undergo a major facelift at the end of the season as he seeks to bolster the squad with quality players to ensure they don't struggle in 2018 as they have this season.

The only silver lining in Ingwe's rather dull 2017 season is earning a ticket to the GOtv Shield final where they face Kariobangi Sharks on October 20, but their Kenyan Premier League season has been left in tatters.

Matano, who joined the team in mid-season, has said the team has lacked the relevant quality to compete with the rest of the teams hence their struggle.

"It (improvement) is there but it is slow improvement because we don't have the quality that we need. The teams ahead of us have quality players and that is why they are performing," Matano said.

"We have young players who are playing in the league for the first time and the experienced players we have are not in top form and we are struggling," the tactician further stated.

Matano said what he is currently doing at the team is equivalent to 'first aid' with his basic target being to ensure the team crops out of the relegation zone.

AFC are placed 12th in the standings with 32 points, five adrift the drop zone with seven matches to go. They have won only once in their last five matches, but Matano is confident that they can do enough to ensure they finish the season strongly.

"I will use what we have for now. I can't change anything now; what I am doing is like first aid. We have to get off relegation we move forward abit to a respectable position," the tactician said.

He points out that he will be going full throttle into the transfer market to get players who can push his bid for a title next season.

"When we do recruitment for future we must get right players for the right position. When the season ends, we have to do thorough reinforcement with quality players. We have good players but AFC doesn't need good players, it needs quality players. Gor is not winning because of luck, they are winning because they have quality players," the tactician further said.

Matano's charges will take their hunt for three points to Machakos this weekend when they take on Kariobangi Sharks in what will be a dress rehearsal for the GOtv Shield final.

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