NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – As the reality of relegation begins to fall on 2008 FKF Premier League champions Mathare United, head coach John Kamau is looking towards the positive end and says with 11 matches to go, he is not panicking that the team will face the chop at the end of the season.
Mathare are sitting bottom of the standings with a paltry 11 points after 23 matches, 14 points away from definite safety and nine away from the play-off zone.
But, Kamau retains hope that the team can conjure a massive comeback to save themselves from relegation.
“I can see that almost everyone is panicking but I am not there yet. I don’t even know where the panic button is. If we can work on our mentality I think it will be key for us. The physical aspect is there and tactically the players are also getting our concept. We are getting what we need from them,” said the coach.
Kamau took charge of the team just after the start of the second leg after Ezekiel Akwana was shown the door and he has been tasked with saving the team, just like Frank Ouna did last season.
“Definitely that’s why I am here. With more than 30 points to play for, there is so much to play for. We cannot afford to talk about relegation and we have tomove heads up and ready to fight till the end,” says the coach, nicknamed Guardiola.
Mathare face Posta Rangers in the return leg when the league resumes this weekend after the international break.
Posta, under the tutelage of former Mathare coach Salim Ali, beat the Slum Boys 3-2 when the two sides met in the first leg two weeks ago and Kamau hopes his side can bounce back.
Salim, a former Mathare player and coach also commiserates with the situation teh club is in but remains confident they will survive.
“It is really sad to see them there but I know they have the ability to get themselves out there. They have good players and a good coach and definitely, they can get out,” Salim says.
Meanwhile, Kamau says the FIFA window has been a huge blessing to them as they look to work on various areas of improvement.
“We have been talking about the physical aspect and we also have several injuries to key players. With the window, we will be in a position to get them back and also work on mentality and more on tactical,” he said.