THE LAST STRETCH

Don't write us off just yet, says Vihiga's Mururi

Mururi admits he may encounter a big challenge in his efforts to refine the side given the dearth of experience in the playing unit.

In Summary

•“We, undoubtedly, have enough quality in the team but the challenge is experience. We have a dozen schoolboys who are talented but lack the experience we need to effectively charge for the title.”

•Mururi has decried the poor quality of Kenyan pitches which he said compromised the quality of matches to a large degree.

Vihiga United players celebrate
VIHIGA Vihiga United players celebrate
Image: FILE

The newly appointed Vihiga United head coach, Mike Mururi, says he is ready to employ all means at his disposal to salvage the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) returnees from imminent relegation.

Vihiga are rooted in a precarious 15th position on the log and are limping on the brink of relegation, but Mururi is convinced they still have a mathematical chance of surviving the axe if they happen to pull off an impressive run in their remaining encounters.

"Obviously, I found the team in a very worrying form, but there is still a glimmer of hope we could maintain our status in top-flight football if we brush aside our previous disappointing results and concentrate on our remaining fixtures," he said.

Mururi admits he may encounter a big challenge in his efforts to redeem and refine the side given the dearth of experience in the playing unit.

"We, undoubtedly, have enough quality in the team but the challenge is experience. We have a dozen schoolboys who are talented but lack the experience we need to effectively charge for the title.

"Even more challenging is the fact that I wasn't with the players for preseason matches to gauge their full potential, but I will be studying them closely in the coming matches and I believe we'll have put our house in order before long," said Mururi.

He said although his predecessor Sammy Okoth had put the players on an individual training program, it wasn't easy to monitor their performance, adding the long break occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic had further plummeted the standards of football in the top tier.

"You may have observed from the few matches played over the weekend that coaches are employing a more cautious approach. They feel they are better off with a draw than a loss. This is because they are aware their players are not entirely fit for matches and, therefore, it could be unwise to commit them upfront."

Mururi has decried the poor quality of Kenyan pitches which he said compromised the quality of matches to a large degree.

"Eventually, the few fields that the federation have identified for use will be worn out and this might make it even more difficult for the players. There is an urgent need to develop more stadiums in the country if we expect to see quality football from our players," he said.

"Bad venues affect the game. Coaches and players are only comfortable when the pitch is satisfactory," he added.

Weighing in on match-fixing, the tactician who was previously with Sofapaka said the current crop of players apparently lack the sort of passion they had during their era players and are only interested in fulfilling their financial goals.

"During our days as footballers we were driven by passion. It's quite disturbing that players plying trade in the top-flight focus more on money. But it's quite understandable, considering they have financial obligations to fulfil," said Mururi.