•Omollo said they would use more friendly matches to sharpen their claws for the continental showpiece in the absence of Kenyan Premier League fixtures after the caretaker committee appointed by Sports CS Amina Mohamed moved to suspend the league for two weeks.
•Despite the existing injury concerns, Omollo remained optimistic that all the affected players would be up and about before the Otoho d'Oyo encounter.
Kenyan representatives in the Confederations Cup, Gor Mahia, are breathing a sigh of relief after the continental football governing body, Caf, cleared Nyayo Stadium to host their third and final preliminary stage match against Otoho d'Oyo of Congo on December 5.
In an exclusive interview with the Star on Wednesday, assistant coach Sammy 'Pamzo' Omollo exuded confidence ahead of the tie, saying the decision by Caf to allow Gor to use Nyayo would be key to their performance.
"Had the match been held out of the country, we could have been denied all the trappings of home advantage. We are happy our fans now have the opportunity to watch us in action and possibly push the team to a win," said Omollo.
Gor booked a date with the Congolese side after cruising past Al Ahly Merowe of South Sudan in the second preliminary stage. The South Sudanese side failed to honour the return leg of their encounter at Nyayo Stadium after being thumped 3-1 in the first leg in Egypt.
Doubts had initially surfaced regarding the venue of the encounter after Caf wrote a letter to the disbanded Football Kenya Federation, lamenting about the quality of Nyayo and Moi Stadium, Kasarani — saying both facilities lacked the threshold to host international matches.
Omollo said they would use more friendly matches to sharpen their claws for the continental showpiece in the absence of Kenyan Premier League fixtures after the caretaker committee appointed by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed moved to suspend the league for two weeks.
"We had a friendly match on Wednesday morning and we are planning for more in the course of the week. It is the only way we can keep our squad active as we prepare for the Caf Confederation Cup," said Omollo.
Omollo expressed confidence that the league would go on, saying chances Fifa would ban Kenya remain minimal.
"We are most likely to witness the formation of a normalisation committee as is the situation in Egypt. I don't think the current situation will descend to the level of a ban," he said.
Despite the existing injury concerns, Omollo remained optimistic that all the affected players would be up and about before the Otoho d'Oyo encounter.
"I'm glad Sydney Ochieng is already on the road to recovery. Gad Mathew suffered a bout of malaria after travelling with the national team to Uganda for the Group 'E' 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers but I believe it won't be long before he also recovers," said Omollo.
Omollo said they were not losing sleep over the consecutive barren draws in their last two league encounters
"The positive thing is that we managed to maintain a clean sheet in each of the matches, and this reflects positively on the quality of our defence. Football is not about scoring goals alone. A good defence can also win matches," he quipped.