NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7 – With a two-month deal, the next two games will have a huge impact on whether Turkish tactician Engin Firat will remain head coach of the Harambee Stars beyond the four allotted games.
The tactician, who used to be with Moldova, was brought on board by the Kenya Football Association to guide stars through the qualifiers and FKF boss Nick Mwendwa said his future would depend on Kenya’s performance in the qualifiers .
“I would not have accepted to come if I had not believed that Kenya could qualify. I think it can be done and that’s why I’m here, ”said Firat as he was appointed new coach, replacing Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, who was eliminated after two games in a row against Rwanda and Uganda.
And now, as his debut for Kenya, Firat faces a big game, a game against a talented Mali team in Agadir, Morocco.
Harambee Stars training in Agadir, Morocco. FOTO / FKF
At least four points from the duel against the West Africans will make the coach popular with the Kenyan fans and by and large with his employer FKF.
This means that Stars have a chance to win Group E with two games remaining in the qualifying round. The game against Mali on Thursday evening will be by far the most important of the four remaining games.
The tactician says he is happy with the team’s reaction to his tactic, although he remains cautious about the fitness of the team, especially the local players.
“The foreign players are used to this kind of intensity, but there is a little concern with those who play in the local league. So we have to have a good balance between the two, ”said the coach after the team’s final training session in Morocco.
Even though he only trains the entire squad for two days, the tactician says he is ready to take on a massive opponent.
“We’ll do our best to do a good job and the people to satisfy. The most important thing is how we play against a top team and I feel like we’re ready. We trained well and tried to get everyone on board, ”said Firat after the team’s final training session in Morocco.
Harambee stars in training. FOTO / FKF
He adds; “We cannot win a game with luck and so we have to play good football and that is the main point. We have to show that we can play against a top team and achieve a good result. ”
Firat called back some players who were overlooked by his predecessor, giving a chance to Abud Omar, David “Calabar” Odhiambo and Gonzalez Ismail, who have not played for Kenya since the 2019 Nations Cup.
Will his team start victorious or will the Malians make it a reality?
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