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Mwalala hoping to drop heavy burden on Wazito

Thursday December 05 2019
mwalala_pix

Bandari coach Bernard Mwalala looks on during their Caf Confederation Cup play-offs second leg match against Horoya AC at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on November 3, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

By Jeff Kinyanjui

Struggling Bandari take on Wazito at Mbaraki Sports Club on Friday looking to snap their poor run in the Kenyan Premier League.

Bandari are yet to win a match since they were eliminated from the Caf Confederation Cup by Horoya AC from Guinea early last month.

The dockers are ranked 14th on the log with nine points from 10 matches and their five-match winless run seems to be taking a toll on coach Bernard Mwalala who didn't talk to the press after the 1-0 loss to Tusker last Sunday. However, he insists there is no cause for alarm ahead of the Wazito encounter.

“We played very well against Tusker but still could not score. We missed key players but managed to play better than we have done in previous matches and I am convinced we are getting better and the bad run will soon come to an end,” Mwalala told Nation Sport on Thursday.

“There is no need to panic and I urge the players, management and fans to remain calm because there’s nothing extraordinary affecting our performance. We have just been unlucky but I am sure we will get back where we belong – in the next five matches Bandari will be back in the top five category,” he added.

Bandari will welcome back defender Nicholas Meja and striker Yema Mwamba from injury against Wazito. The duo missed the Tusker game alongside captain Felly Mulumba and Ugandan Fred Nkata who are still ruled out. Winger Abdallah Hassan is also a doubt since he is in the Harambee Stars squad set to travel to Kampala for the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

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Experienced tactician Stewart Hall made a grand return to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) by guiding Wazito to an emphatic 6-0 win over Chemelil Sugar on Saturday. Despite Bandari’s poor run, he has warned his charges not to underrate them.

“Bandari are a good side obviously and therefore we are not favourites especially bearing in mind that we are playing in Mombasa and have to deal with the heat and other factors. If we manage that then we stand a chance but we will give it our best shot,” said Hall.

The moneybags will however miss highly-rated youngster Musa Masika and defender Johnstone Omurwa who are away on national team assignment with Harambee Stars. Hall terms their absence a big loss.

“They played very well against Chemelil and we will miss them. However we have Brian Musa and Bernard Ochieng who I believe can do an equally good job,” he added.

In another match to be played on Thursday, 15th-placed Kariobangi Sharks host Tusker at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani. The match will be live on TV and kicks off at 1:30 pm.

FIXTURES

Friday

Bandari v Wazito (Mombasa, 2pm)
Kariobangi Sharks v Tusker (Kasarani, 1:30pm) LIVE

Saturday

Chemelil Sugar v Western Stima (Muhoroni, 3pm)
Nzoia Sugar v Kakamega Homeboyz (Sudi, 3pm)

Sunday

KCB v Posta Rangers (Machakos, 3pm)

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