Gor Mahia tactician Hassan Oktay believes the quarter-final exit at this year’s CECAFA club cup did not reflect the club’s performance.
“We really do not deserve to come out of this tournament given how we played, we actually should not have come out. But we also missed international players like Francis Kahata and Jacques Tuyisenge together with national players (Otieno and Onyango). That means we came with young boys and so it was not going to be easy. But still we should have played in the semi-final or in the final given the quality we have and unfortunately, that will not happen.” he said to goal.com
The biggest issue at Gor Mahia currently is the lack of an established striker went on Oktay.
“Unfortunately, we were lacking the final touch and it is something I have seen before and talked about it so many times. When you leave key national players and come with some young boys this (defeat) happens. They need the experience to deal with this kind of football arena which is very very different.” he said.
Oktay also thinks his side may have under-estimated the Zambians.
“I was not pleased with the boys’ performance but I don’t think we deserved to leave the tournament. We underestimated Green Eagles and unfortunately, they punished us from our mistakes. We didn’t have enough quality in the final third,” said Oktay.
He seemed to imply that he has no input in the signing of players.
“Interestingly as the head coach, I have never signed a single player at Gor Mahia. I found them here. The defeat was a wake-up call to us and we now need to shift focus to the champions league and the premier league.”
Oktay: Gor Mahia will struggle this season
Coach Hassan Oktay believes the loss of quality players will cause the club to struggle during the 2019-2020 season.
“It is going to be a tough year for us if we don’t get the players who fit the qualities of the club. It will be tough, we will struggle.” he said to goal.com
Oktay believes the club must sign additional quality players before the transfer deadline.
“It depends, we need to sign the players, Gor Mahia need to sign about three quality players, we need them here now. “We have only signed players from the lower league, we signed youth team players and that is not enough, with such a squad, we will struggle, we need players. “If you ask me, we need two strikers and one winger, a very good wide player.” he continued.
Shakava prepared to play out contract
Gor Mahia defender Harun Shakava now says that he is willing to play through the rest of his contract which has six months left.
“It’s true I have received a number of offers within and outside the country, but I am not keen on leaving Gor Mahia now. I still have a running contract with the club and it would be important to see it out,” Shakava told Standard Sports. “I know in football, things happen so fast but let’s just wait for the contract to expire then see what follows. But if indeed the teams interested in me are serious, let them first engage my current club.” he told Standard Sports.
On the club’s loss to Green Eagles, Shakava said that defensive lapses and the loss of key players was costly.
“We worked hard and the commitment from the players was there, but two defensive mistakes cost us the match. All the same, this was a good pre-season tournament for the team ahead of the new season. “We clearly missed the experience of Kahata and Tuyisenge as well as the other regular players who were left back home. When you want to win such tournaments, you must have your best players.” he continued.