Wanderers to pick up pieces after shocker

Saturday, September 7th, 2019 00:37 |

After suffering a humiliating 8-0 drubbing at the hands of Nairobi Stima last weekend, National Super League newcomers Northern Wanderers are looking at making instant amends.

The debutants, under coach Noordin Bedeh, have gone back to the drawing board and are vowing to come good. They face Fortune Sacco, who equally lost 2-0 to Coast Stima, in their season opening fixture and are also seeking a positive result. 

However the Garissa  County-based Wanderers captain Reinhard Bonke Otieno wants to turn the tide briskly. “We are a new side in a competitive environment. Everybody will be hungry to beat us but as a team we have resolved to stand up to pressure,” he told Wikendi Sport.

Coach Bedeh believes mentality must be stronger for players who are still young. “I think our performance technically is sound but we make far too many basic mistakes. NSL is a different breed of football and so we have agreed to keep our heads up and not act scared. Strong character is essential going forward for this group.”

Analysts are already painting a grim picture for the greenhorns who replaced Eldoret Youth in the off-season. However, Bedeh has cautioned against early negative talk suggesting work ahead is huge but nothing is impossible. 

“Obviously we have naysayers but we will take each game as a learning curve and pick positives. There are still 38 matches to go, it is still early to write off our chances. For us survival is important and we will fight towards that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nairobi Stima face a familiar foe in the shape of Kenya Police at Karuturi Stadium Saturday afternoon. The law enforcers who are yet to kick a ball this season in the NSL Championship have been busy with the East Africa Regional Police Championships and will be hoping to use the experience to good effect. “We know each other well. In fact, this is a derby but I will go for attack and capitalise on open gaps. The gold medal we won at the EARPC is good motivation and we have Clinton Kinanga and Dickson Omwenga in good form,” said Police coach Charles Omondi.

Cash-strapped Shabana and Mt Kenya United are also keen to get their first points of the campaign at their home turfs after heavy defeats in their openers against Nairobi City Stars and Bidco United, respectively. At Gusii Stadium, they welcome newly-minted Murang’a Seal who stunned Kibera Black Stars 2-0 last time out while Mt Kenya hosts Paul Ogai’s impressive Coast Stima at Ruaraka.

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