13 June 2018

Kenya: Light Wazito Face Steamy K'ogalo in Kisumu

Nairobi — Struggling Wazito FC tackle Kenyan Premier League leaders Gor Mahia at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Wednesday afternoon on the backdrop of losing six key first team players in the mid-season transfer window.

Tough financial times at the club has forced several players to decamp with more said to be on their way out, a situation that leaves head coach Frank Ouna scratching his head over their future in the top tier league.

"It is definitely a tough call when you lose six first team players. All this boils down to the financial situation of the club because we have not yet found a sponsor since coming into the league. We are trying to see whether we can have some replacements," Ouna noted.

Harun Nyakha and Joe Waithira both decamped to Nakumatt, Piston Mutamba moved to Sofapaka while Luis Tumba, Mark Odhiambo and Patience Lukige have all asked to be released as they pursue greener pastures.

The departure of the six leaves the team hugely punctured. Ouna has already brought on board experienced midfielder Erick Ochieng and Anthony Njeru from KCB as he looks to seal the loopholes.

"At this time I will change my approach a bit. I will not go in for young players but I will try to get players who are experienced in the league and who understand the situation we are in and can help pull us out. At this time I can't say much about our future in the league until I get the players I need for the second leg," the tactician noted.

In the midst of the storm, they come face to face with a team that's on top of their game and still steaming in celebrations following their SportPesa Super Cup win.

The league leaders sit top of the standings with a two point buffer over second placed Mathare United and with a healthy five game deficit. Ouna knows, it is not an easy tie to go to.

"Definitely this is not the best time to play Gor because currently they are the best team in the country. My biggest challenge now is to rebuild the team and we start now. It will be a tough game for us definitely but we have to go in there and give our best," the tactician noted.

Wazito sit at the basement of the standings with a meager 17 points off their first 18 games of top flight football and have lost six consecutive matches in the league. Their only win in that period was a 3-0 result against Nairobi Water in the FKF Shield.

Meanwhile, Gor will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the new season and head coach Dylan Kerr has warned his side not to take Wazito lightly.

"They have been struggling yes, but any team that comes to play against Gor Mahia takes it as a Cup final. It will definitely be a tough match coz they want to be the first team to beat us," warned the British coach.

He is expected to make changes to his starting 11 so as to give rest to some of his first team stars who played two matches within three days in the SportPesa Super Cup.

"It is very tough for me because every time I have to put in a different team because I have to look out for my players not to get too worked up. We have to look at who feels fresh physically and mentally then put out our best team to face Wazito," further noted the coach.

A win for Gor will take them five points clear at the top of the standings as they look to keep in track to defend their crown. Kerr has also warned that his team wants to go in and fight for all the trophies they are competing for.

A lover of sports who seeks to tell the African story in an African way. Top ten finalist of the Abu Dhabi Sports Media Pearl Awards. Be it on the pitch, court, track, pool or course, the story will be told. On twitter @KakaTimm

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