NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 1 – Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay has hinted at a change in strategy as the club faces two back to back away matches in Group D of the CAF Confederations Cup over the next two weekends.
The record Kenyan champions face Algeria’s NA Hussein Dey on Sunday in Algiers and follow that up with another away assignment against Egyptian giants Zamalek in Alexandria a week later, hoping to pick a minimum of a point in each game.
Oktay says he will have to opt out of playing open football and look at getting in the least a point in both ties.
“You know my style and you know I love to play open, attractive football. We did it in Nigeria against Lobi Stars and we also did it against Petro in Angola. But now we will have to change. I have to change my style a bit,” the tactician told Capital Sport.
He added; “We need to get at least a point in the two away games. We know playing in North Africa is hard, but I am not worried. I know my boys and I know we can make it.”
K’Ogalo has had a torrid away record and since their first return to continental football in 2008, the club hasn’t enjoyed victory away from home, the only time that happened being last year against Yanga where they won 3-2.
“I don’t know about the past, but I am committed to see the team succeed in these two games because they are very important. We are going to go away and we will get positive results,” Oktay noted.
Gor who leave Nairobi on Friday evening will not travel back to Nairobi once they are done with the tie against Hussein Dey but will remain in the North to await the game against Egypt.
“We will not be back and that’s why our midweek game against Ulinzi was rescheduled. We are yet to decide whether we will stay in Algeria for a few days and then travel to Egypt or we will just go there direct and prepare from there. But we will make a decision once we get there,” Gor Mahia Chief Executive Officer Lordvick Aduda says.
Oktay will have tricky balancing acts to do as he will possibly use the same squad that played midweek against Tusker FC in a Kenyan Premier League tie. Oktay complained that they had asked for postponement of their game against Tusker, but were not listened to.
“The Algerian Federation helped Hussein Dey because they postponed their league matches. But for us, we asked of the same but nothing. But, I am not worried. We will go and fight to get a result. I know if all my players were physically 100pc, we would get a minimum of three or four goals in Algeria. Rest assured,” the tactician opined.
Gor will still miss the services of defender Joash Onyango who picked up a heavy knock in his ribs in their match against Western Stima two weeks ago.
Francis Kahata who was rested against Tusker in midweek will also be okay to start the important tie.
If Gor avoid defeat in Algeria, they will remain on top of the standings. Their bid for a quarter final slot will receive a massive boost if Petro Atletico and Zamalek draw in the other tie and they travel to Zamalek and also get a point.
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