By Isaac Swila in Saidia, Morocco
Gor Mahia assistant coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno insists his boys will play to win when they face host club RS Berkane a few hours from now in the CAF Confederations Cup quarter finals match.
K’Ogalo take on the Moroccan side in the second leg having lost 2-0 in Nairobi but Zico, who had a decorated stint with the team during his playing days insists that despite the travel difficulties and the fact that a large chunk of the first team players are yet to arrive six hours to the match, they’ll put their best foot forward.
He said: “We can’t say that we are well prepared but psychologically and mentally I think we are focused because to prepare you need to have the whole team for sometime but as you know some of our players are just arriving in Casablanca to come here but I think this is match will be played psychologically.
He went on: “I know in terms of planning we didn’t do well but all in all the boys are into it even before we left Nairobi .The boys are psyched up; they are professionals,” he said.
Asked as to whether his boys have the mental edge to score three unanswered goals in a foreign stadium despite the travel brouhaha, Zico was unflinching. “You just need one goal to set the tone of the game because if you can score the first goal it will lift the morale and concentration to get another one…so we are not looking at the three goals but two goals which can get us into a level playing field.
“When we knocked Supersport out last season to get into the group stages we arrived in South Africa at around 9am in the morning so it’s just the same scenario, the only difference is that we have to travel from Casablanca but it’s the same scenario,” he concluded.
Zico could be thrust in the thick of things should his boss Hassan Oktay, travelling with the second batch of players, 11 in total, fail to make it at the match venue in time.
Meanwhile, match commissioner G. Andy Quamie has ruled out the possibility of the kick off time being pushed backwards noting that Gor Mahia did not write a letter to CAF informing them of the travel difficulties.
“Gor Mahia didn’t write to CAF so the rules have to remain. It is we(officials) who informed CAF of these challenges,” Quamie told Citizen Digital at the Melisa Hotel Beach Hotel, flanked by Gor’s deputy secretary general Ronald Ngala.
Gor are however staring at yet another problem as the team’s kits are with the second batch who are running late for the game. Should the travelling squad fail to reach Berkane Stadium in time, it remains to be seen how they’ll address the matter.
At the same time forward Francis Mustapha and goalkeeper Shaban Odhoji who are part of the first batch that arrived here on time said they are more than ready for the game.
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