Gor Mahia coach details what his side need to retain their league title

© Gor Mahia.

Gor Mahia coach details what his side need to retain their league title

Joel Omotto 11:15 - 05.05.2024

Gor Mahia coach Johnathan McKinstry has explained what his teams need to do to claim a record extending 21st league title following their SportPesa Derby victory on Saturday.

Gor Mahia coach Johnathan McKinstry believes his side need three more wins to retain their Football Kenya Federation Premier League title.

K’Ogalo made another giant step towards back-to-back league success when they claimed the SportPesa Derby bragging rights following a 3-1 win away to Murang’a Seal on Saturday.

Austin Odhiambo opened the scoring before John Kiplagat levelled for the home side for 1-1 at halftime but the former would win a late penalty which Benson Omala converted, and the league’s leading scorer put the gloss on the score line with his second and his team’s third in injury time.

Victory saw Gor Mahia move to 60 points from 28 games, 12 more than second-placed Kenya Police who play away to Kakamega Homeboyz on Sunday, and with six games to go, McKinstry feels nine more points will get them over the line.

“We just need to keep winning. This puts pressure on our rivals who are chasing because we go 12 points clear which might be for 24 hours because Police play tomorrow [Sunday] but we have to keep doing the job ourselves,” said McKinstry.

“People sometimes see that gap and think things become easier, they don’t become easier. Look how much zeal, determination and passion Murang’a Seal played with when they really have nothing to play for other than pride but they come full throttle and we expect that every week.

“Next week we play Shabana who do have something to fight for which will be a tough game but we expect maybe another three wins should be enough.”

While the score line against Murang’a was big, Gor Mahia had to dig in to the victory. Gor Mahia started well but allowed their hosts into the game after breaking the deadlock and Murang’a took full advantage, forcing McKinstry to bring Enock Wanyama off for midfielder Lawrence Juma to gain some control in midfield.

“We had to make some difficult choices because there are guys who were playing well in the first half and even at the start of the second half like Musa Masika who is very unfortunate to come out,” he added.

“We thought the key to the game was ensuring we kept our wingers on and so freshening up the team with some experience, calm heads while also keeping our wide players on.

“That is why you have seen a penalty coming from the wing, Austin darting inside and Benson’s goal on the left side switched across to him and to control and finish. 70 per cent of the game was for us but 30 per cent was for our hosts.”

Gor Mahia host Shabana on Saturday and will have to be at their best against Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo’s resurgent side who are unbeaten in their last four matches.

Shabana recorded their third win over that period following a 1-0 victory against Sofapaka which lifted them from the dreaded relegation zone.

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