Kimanzi wants shift in mentality for Harambee Stars to leap

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 00:00 |
Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi during Sunday’s friendly match with Uganda. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

The entire national team needs a shift in mentality in order to make the great leaps Kenyans hope for in Harambee Stars.

New head coach Francis Kimanzi emphasised the need to engrave attacking mentality in Kenyan players after watching his side come back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw against a much-fancied Uganda Cranes in Nairobi on Sunday.

How he will turn this around remains a big question for a federation and country that has invested little or nothing in sports science.

Other teams have in-house psychologists to help players cope with weighty matters and perhaps Kenya might be forced to finally consider hiring one to help Kimanzi realise his big dream for Stars.

On areas of weakness he needed to work on, Kimanzi said: “I cannot single out any department but generally say our players need a big shift in mentality to be the finished article we all hope for.” 

“That means we collectively build our confidence while in possession of the ball. We must also all develop an offensive mindset and work very hard to utilise possession.

If we can do that, then it will be the first step to our new philosophy,” he added.

The Dutch-trained tactician was impressed by the players’ ability to fight back from conceding an early goal to totally dominate their neighbours. 

“It is a good thing that they were able to grow into the game and take control of it after conceding.

The dynamics would be different had we gone up first so this is one aspect of the team that I have learnt and I’m happy about,” Kimanzi said of Muguna’s equalising goal.

The tactician was brave enough to include multiple debutants in the team and singled out Gor Mahia midfielder Lawrence Juma for standing out in two different roles. 

Juma started the game in a more advanced role in midfield but dropped deeper towards the end of the first half when Collins Agade was substituted with Kenya trailing.

More on Football