The new man running the national team has assured to stick with the squad which played against Chipolopolo in a friendly a fortnight ago
New Harambee Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee has promised to stick with the squad selected by his predecessor Francis Kimanzi ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations double-header against Comoros in November.
The 52-year-old tactician was handed the mantle to handle the team on a three-year contract following the exit of Francis Kimanzi, whom the Federation claims they parted with on mutual agreement last Tuesday.
‘Ghost’ has now revealed to Goal he will not make changes to the Kenya squad which beat Zambia 2-1 in a Fifa international friendly a fortnight ago by revealing, “It would not be in order to change a winning squad.”
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“As we speak now, my mind is already in the Comoros double-header and any good coach cannot change a winning team, they just beat Zambia a few days ago, I will stick with the team which played against Zambia,” ‘Ghost’ told Goal.
“What I saw against Zambia [during the friendly] is a Harambee Stars team that has the pedigree to go head to head with some of the best teams in Africa. I just want to build on the squad and hopefully, we should register good results against Comoros, especially in the first match at home.”
‘Ghost’ continued: “We have a large pool of quality players in the current squad but what I will do maybe is to add a few if necessary. I watched the match against Zambia and will further look at the players individually to ascertain each one’s role, but my main target is to make sure we win home matches and also try as hard as we can to get decent results away so as to stand a chance of making it to Afcon.”
In an earlier interview, Mulee assured Kenyans they will do everything possible to have all the professional players link up with the team ahead of the clash against the Islanders.
During the friendly against Zambia, Kenya missed the services of at least five professional players due to various reasons, but the new man at the helm of the team came out to assure that all the foreign-based players who are in his plans will be available for the clash.
“It is a tricky situation now dealing with foreign-based players, I say tricky because some clubs will not want [or will not be comfortable] to release their players to honour national team duty owing to the Covid-19 restrictions,” Mulee told Goal.
“The scenario is a very tricky situation but we will see how we can get our players, we will try and make sure we get our players, we will write to the clubs and try to explain to them the importance of the Comoros match, we will do our best to have our professionals come for the match.
“We hope the clubs will also understand and release the players we need for the double-header.”
Among the professionals who missed the Zambia friendly, which Kenya won 2-1, include goalkeeper Arnold Origi, who was returning to the team after five years out, captain Victor Wanyama, midfielder Johanna Omollo, defender Joseph Akumu, and striker Michael Olunga.
Kenya will move to residential training on October 26, first with local-based players, before the foreign-based stars start arriving on November 2, ahead of the first match set for Kasarani Stadium on November 11.
Kenya are currently second in Group G after managing two draws from their first two matches – 1-1 against Egypt away in Cairo and the same scoreline against Togo in Nairobi.