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KPL teams always raise game by 25% when playing against Gor Mahia – Polack

The British coach reveals to Goal rival clubs have a tendency of upping their game whenever they play against the champions

Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack has cautioned his players to be alert when playing against Kenyan Premier League (KPL) rivals.

The British coach has stated most clubs in the league have a tendency of increasing their tempo whenever they play against the champions, and hence his players must be prepared to handle the situation.

“Every game against Gor Mahia, everyone is playing like it is a Cup final, so we must be prepared all the time, not for a single match but all the matches we are supposed to play this season,” Polack told Goal on Friday.

“The teams [in KPL] know we are the champions and they always want to do well against the champions and it is the reason we always find a different and difficult opponent when playing against them.

“Every team for some reason tend to pick up their performances against Gor Mahia by an extra 25 percent display and it is something we have experienced on many occasions this season and our next opponents Western Stima are no exceptions.

“They (Westen Stima) have a good coach and have a good squad, and we cannot underrate them, we must be prepared to do our job, play the way we are supposed to play, take the game to them and also try as much as we can to use the chances we create.”

In the reverse fixture, Western Stima managed to snatch a 1-1 draw with Gor Mahia reduced to ten men after defender Joash Onyango was sent off.

And last season, Western Stima also pulled off another 1-1 draw in the second round fixture, and it means Gor Mahia will be up against one of their bogey sides in the top flight.

“We deserved to beat them in the first round tie, we were 1-0 up in the opening minutes of the game and dominated them until [Onyango] got sent off,” Polack added.

“The red card somehow changed the game in their favour as I was forced to change a few things in my squad, even forced to withdraw striker Nicholas Kipkirui to bring in a cover for Onyango.

“I don’t think they merited to get a draw but that is football, we have a chance to make things right on Saturday.”

On injury updates in the squad ahead of the match, Polack told Goal: “We still have the same players missing out – Philemon Otieno and Wellington Ochieng – are still out and will not be involved.

“We also have Onyango, definitely he is suspended and will miss the match. I am hoping he will be ready and available for our next match as the ban will be over by then.”

The match against Western Stima will be played at Kasarani Stadium.

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