NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14 – Gor Mahia head coach Hassan Oktay has issued a passionate plea to football fans to turn out in large numbers at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on Sunday when they take on Angola’s Petro Atletico in a do-or-die CAF Confederations Cup match.
Gor who sit bottom of Group D are eyeing a place in the quarter finals of the competition for the first time ever but must beat the Angolans regardless of the result Nasr Athletic Hussein Dey and Zamalek post in the other group match.
“I want to ask my players number 12, the fans to come out and support us. Not only the Gor Mahia fans but all Kenyans because when we are playing, we represent Kenya. It doesn’t matter whether it is Gor Mahia, Bandari, Sharks or whoever is playing. When you are in this competition, you are representing the country,” Oktay noted.
Gor have just the six points from their home wins against Zamalek and Hussein Dey. Had they posted better results away from home, then they would have finished the job early but now find themselves in a tricky situation.
Under pressure, Gor are not known to be the best. Last season, they only needed a point against Rwanda’s Rayon Sport to qualify for the quarters but they ended up losing 2-1. This year though, they are counting on their imperious home form to topple Petro.
“We have made a plan, and a good plan for that matter. I am confident that we will win. I am not worried. We will play good football; that’s my philosophy because I want to see people happy,” the tactician stated.
Gor’s preparations for this important tie have been slowed down with players going on strike over unpaid salaries and allowances, but the same was resolved and they managed to train on Friday evening.
The league champions had to field only 15 players for Thursday’s league match against Kakamega Homeboyz and Capital Sports understands that some of the players who were to be rested were called in late after most of their mates boycotted the game.
“It is difficult for me to work like this because I didn’t even prepare much for this game. I tried talking to the players individually to ask them to come and even on the pitch before the game I tried talking to them. But we have talked and resolved,” the coach said.
He added; “This is like a marriage. Sometimes you fight with your wife and it is normal to disagree. It is the same for football as well you might disagree. We are a big family and sometimes we disagree. We have problems but we have solved them.”
The tactician has also decried the lack of help from league managers in postponing their games to allow them prepare better.
“In Algeria, Hussein Dey had their games cancelled while for us before that, we played against Tusker with 10 men for 70 minutes three days before the game. We don’t mind playing three games in a week after we are done with CAF games. I think they should help us to prepare well and rest players,” the tactician offered.
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