New Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall could not have asked for a more difficult in which to make his local debut. On Sunday Gor Mahia take on Tusker, in a top of the table clash at Kasarani.
Tusker has been a tough nut to crack of late. It was Tusker who eliminated Gor Mahia from the KPL top 8. The first leg encounter between the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw. And in 2013, it was Tusker who almost derailed Gor Mahia’s match to the title when they beat them 1-0. You might have to go back as far as 2012 to find the last time Gor Mahia beat Tusker.
And Tusker coach Francis Kimanzi is promising Gor Mahia another torrid afternoon.
“It will be a tough game and we are promising them a real battle which we are ready for. Being a match that involves the leading pack, fans should expect to be entertained as both sets of players will give their best on the pitch,” said Kimanzi to goal.com
But coach Nuttall is unperturbed. He says he cant wait to lead his charges against Tusker.
“I’m really excited and cannot wait for my first league match. I know it is going to be a difficult match on Sunday because Tusker also want the title,” said Nuttall to the Nation.
Nuttall is using the 3-0 loss to Simba as a teaching moment for the players.
“The friendly was an eye opener. At least it gave me a good view of the squad I have in the team and the areas that I need to improve on. Generally, we have quality players who I do believe can win the league for us,” continued Nuttall.
A win for Gor Mahia will put Gor Mahia firmly in the driving seat. A draw keep the status quo over Tusker, whereas a loss will be disastrous as it will mean Tusker is now technically ahead of Gor Mahia. Coach Nuttall knows how crucial this match is.
“Gor Mahia has very talented boys. It is for me to ensure they turn that talent into success. Sunday’s match is very crucial because we are up against one of our biggest rivals so it is quite important that we give our best,” he said.
Gor Mahia will also be looking for a positive start to their stretch of 4 matches in 10 days. On the positive side, Gor Mahia had 7 days in which to rest, work on fitness and fix the issues that were exposed by Simba last weekend. Gor Mahia fans will be hoping for their first big win since June. During the past few months, they have lost to AFC and drawn with them, finished last in their group in CECAFA, been eliminated from the GoTV shield and lost to Simba.
One player Gor Mahia used to count on to beat Tusker is George Odhiambo “Blackberry”. Who can forget the goal he scored in 2010 when he dribbled past three Tusker defenders then fired with his left foot. The ball ricochetted of Tusker defender Shikokoti before sailing into the net. If Blackberry could rediscover his old form, Tusker would be in trouble. On Sunday however, Gor Mahia are more likely to depend on Sserunkuma, the leagues top scorer and Timothy Otieno for goals.