Kimanzi hails Mathare’s ‘strong mentality’ in Sharks victory

Mathare United head coach Francis Kimanzi has pointed out his team psychologically prepared well for their Sunday’s ‘slum derby’ against Kariobangi Sharks, after enduring eight matches without a win before the clash.

Kimanzi’s men overcame a tough challenge after going down 1-0 at the early spell of the match, to win 2-1 thus reviving their top-five Kenyan Premier League (KPL) finish in the current campaign.

The veteran coach now wants mental strength displayed in the match to be carried forward in the remaining assignments of the season.

“It was a tough game. Both teams played good football but we were luckier. We created more opportunities and we deserved victory. We showed a lot of character and the desire to win. Coming from a goal down means we were ready for the battle and the players should be commended for that. This is a great morale booster after two continuous loses and hopefully we can do this in the next match,” Kimanzi offered.

Never say die

Kimanzi revealed he had to talk to his charges to forget the poor run and show fidelity to their philosophy if they were to collect anything from Sharks, insisting the results of hard training have been missed for a while.

“It is the mental strength and belief in the never say die attitude that won. When you’ve had sufficient training and feel fit, you know what to do so you have to stay faithful to your principles to the last minute, and to the end of the league,” Kimanzi said.

His opposite number William Muluya has noted his team was poised for a win and the display is promising going forward.

“These kinds of games are decided on very thin margins, the free kick they had for instance. We have struggled lately but I believe soon things will change for the better. What my players need to do now is to get their composure and confidence back,” stated the soft spoken coach.

He went on: “The turnaround might come for us when we get a point. What we are currently going through is psychological so I only need to talk to them. Hopefully in the next match, my players will be motivated and ready to move on,” a crestfallen Muluya added.