• Okoth and his charges had something to smile about last week after the Vihiga County government cleared the arrears accrued from November last year.
• The winner of the two-legged encounter will seal a place in the top flight in the coming season, while the loser will feature in the the NSL.
Vihiga United head coach Sammy Okoth believes the payment of the team's outstanding salary arrears is a timely morale booster as the prepare to battle Kisumu All Stars in a Kenyan Premier League promotion playoff..
Okoth and his charges had something to smile about last week after the Vihiga County government cleared the arrears accrued from November last year.
The National Super League outfit finished third during the 2019/2020 season while All Stars were third from bottom in the KPL standings by the time the federation concluded all campaigns.
The winner of the two-legged encounter will seal a place in the top flight in the coming season, while the loser will feature in the the NSL.
"The money came at a time when we needed it most and this will boost the morale of the players ahead of the playoff. We had not received our salaries since November last year and we have been barely surviving," said Okoth.
"Despite going without pay, my players fought hard and we managed to finish third in the first leg. A host of them were thrown out of their houses but we teamed up and bailed them out but with this boost, I believe we will return to the top flight."
The former Zoo Kericho tactician revealed that the past nine months have been dark for his players. He noted that their performance in training and on match days had significantly dropped due to money problems.
"I couldn't ask for one hundred percent from the boys in training and on match days. I couldn't exert rigorous training on suffering and relatively moody players. I was literally pleading with them to give a decent show for the sake of their careers," he opened up.
Meanwhile, Okoth cautioned his players against switching to merry-making and instead focus on the task ahead. He labelled All Stars as a strong opponent with a desire to remain in the elite league and called on his players to put their best foot forward once football resumes.
"All eyes are set on us and we must now give a good account of ourselves. I don't want them to cork the champagne just because their accounts are loaded. All Stars equally want to play top flight football and this leaves us with no option other than to win the two matches, convincingly," he added.