Matano calm as Tusker keep marching forward
Although only three points separate Tusker FC and Gor Mahia at the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) summit, Robert Matano, the formers’ coach is not excited at all about the title which has been recently monopolized by the 18-time champions.
On Sunday, Tusker overcame a fierce opposition in AFC Leopards, to emerge the only top-five sides in the league to win a match over the weekend.
Comparatively, both Gor and Tusker have a match in hand having featured 19 times in the current campaign, but it is the recent fluctuating form of the champions that puts them under more pressure.
In round 18, Gor lost 2-1 to Kakamega Homeboyz and would also endure quite a nervous duel against Sofapaka in the turn of January 2020, before Saturday’s 3-1 humiliation by the John Baraza coached further exposed the former’s growing inconsistency.
However, Matano has told Citizen Digital he is not keen on Gor’s result, rather opting to concentrate on his team whose stability is underscored by just an impressive run of 10 outings without a loss.
“This is an important result to me. League titles are about the one who accumulates more points than the rest by the end of the fixtures. We are in a good position but I have to keep the focus on my charges. The results of the other teams are not very important to me,” told Matano, shortly after the victory of Ingwe in Nakuru.
The only dropped points in the sequence, came in their December 2019 barren stalemate against Leopards, and their last month’s 1-1 draw with Ulinzi Stars in Ruaraka.
A sense of confidence is building within the team, with captain of the day Timothy Otieno underlining their intentions are becoming clearer as time goes by.
“We are doing well and the more we keep this tempo the more we fell we can win the title. That’s every players’ desire. I’m personally feeling good to sustain my scoring form, and it is those outstanding efforts by players in a team that make the difference in a season,” said Otieno, who at 11 goals now, is a Golden Boot hopeful.
While Gor has suffered the pinch of operating without a sponsor this season and consequently losing some of the finest players from last season’s unit to the 2019/20, Tusker has enjoyed pocket stability which remains a key advantage to the Ruaraka men.
Notably, Gor has this season lost Francis Afriye and Gnamien Yike among others, who were pivotal in their striking department after initial departures of Jacques Tuyisenge and creative man Francis Kahata.
Although Tusker has not signed major names, Matano has now has quite a cohesive side of youthful players blended with a few experienced in the local league.
Such are former Nzoia United’s defender Vincent Ngesa, 18-year old Henry Meja formerly of Green Commandos and Chrispinus Onyango.
Interestingly, of the 13 fixtures remaining on the schedules of Tusker and Gor, the last will pit the two sides on May 24, at 2pm at home to the brewers.