Top dogs AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia have already made bold statements. Tusker, with two straight losses and seven goals soaked could be wondering what to say. Meanwhile newcomers Kariobangi Sharks, Nakumatt, Zoo Kericho are finding out that competition is indeed very tough at this level as they are yet to pick a point.
AFC Leopards coach Stewart Hall: “Not having a game last week put some pressure on us. Everyone wanted to see what Leopards were like (beat Nakumatt 3-0). So the greatest challenge was to take the pressure off the boys and off myself. That is why I decided to leave out all the young players. In terms of performance, I thing we left it late. We missed too many chances but I think the fitness coach has done a fantastic job. The boys are fantastically fit. They kept running and running even towards the end of the match and that is why we managed to score those last two goals. We were the fitter team. We have to keep working because we have had a problem scoring going by our build up games. We need to fix that while enhancing our strong points such as pace and power.”
Thika United coach James Nandwa: “I am happy because we have collected three points, but I am even happier that we played good football and beat the reigning Kenyan champions (beat Tusker 2-0). We were stronger than them in midfield and the boys’ positioning today was also excellent. It is still too early to judge the performance, but I want the boys to know that it is not going to be easy especially in this first half of the season.”
Nakumatt coach Giovanni Traioni: “Leopards is a big team, and today they were better than us (lost 3-0 to AFC Leopards). We were only in our first game in the Premier League and based on that I think my boys did their best. We played a good game, even though we were overpowered in the end. With more determination and more effort I think we shall be able to settle in the league and perform better as time goes.”
Mathare United coach Francis Kimanzi: “It is not easy to play against a team like Nzoia, because they have a very interesting style of play (drew 0-0 with Nzoia United). They keep running and running and when you are not looking, they will come from nowhere and place the ball before the defenders. It was tough containing them. I am happy with the draw, because we defended well even though we played with one man less in the last minutes of the game.”