Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Logarusic plays mind games ahead of Cup tie

 Gor Mahia coach Zdravko Logarusic instructs his players  during their Charity Cup  final against Sofapaka at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, on February 2. Gor play Anse Re Union in the CAF Confederations Cup this weekend. File/Photo

Gor Mahia coach Zdravko Logarusic instructs his players during a past football match. Gor play Anse Re Union in the CAF Confederations Cup this weekend. File/Photo  NATION

By DAVID KWALIMWA [email protected]

Even by his own lofty standards, Gor Mahia coach Zdravko Logarusic’s post match comments following his team’s 1-0 triumph over Kariobangi Sharks in a build-up match at the City Stadium on Saturday, could still be ranked as a classic.

Earlier on, the Croatian had uncharacteristically followed a greater part of the proceedings from the dugout as his charges put up a lethargic display against an outfit playing in the second tier Nationwide League.

And although the Kenyan Premier League runners-up won the friendly thanks to an injury-time winner from Ugandan import Dan Sserunkuma, Logarusic was evidently far from happy with the overall display from his players.

“We are still in pre-season, so you naturally don’t expect the boys to be firing on all cylinders. We just had a few weeks of training and a majority of the players are yet to feature for the full 90 minutes in a single match,” remarked the coach.

“Besides, our league season is yet to officially kick so there is no way we will be at our best this weekend,” he added.

The weekend assignment Logarusic was referring to is the preliminary round of the CAF Confederations Cup in which Gor will play Anse Re Union from Seychelles.

Anse Re Union come calling

The Kenyan Premier League runners-up earned the right to represent the country in the competition after winning the FKF Cup last season.

Gor will host Anse Re Union in the first leg tie in Nairobi this weekend. Considering Logrusic’s track record, one would be tempted to associate these comments with the now familiar ‘mind game’ tactics employed by the Croatian when his side is about to face a ‘stubborn’ opponent.

Pundits believe by bashing his players, Logarusic not only piles pressure on the players to up their game, but also motivates the team as well.

But Logarusic, who has previously coached Ghanian clubs FC Ashgold and King Faishal during his four year coaching career in Africa, believes his team will post better outing in the competition than last year.

“Of course each time we enter a competition, we seek to better our previous performances. We are wary of our opponents and we will treat them with respect. But they should expect a full onslaught from us”.

Gor were bundled out of the tournament last time out in the preliminary round by Mozambic’s Ferroviao de Maputo after a 4-0 aggregate loss.

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