Harambee Stars play Comoros in a two legged crucial 6-pointer and, with some likely extra nerves in the camp; former goalkeeper, Matthew Ottamax would have seen this as just but another game, as they played under this type of pressure before.
“it was not a must win game, it was a normal game which was winnable,” he quips philosophically.
It’s not the first time that Kenya find themselves in a pressure cooker atmosphere. Yes, they recorded a morale boosting win against Zambia but Comoros represent a different prospect, considering that a good number of their players ply their trade in foreign leagues.
“By the mere fact that you have been selected to the national team, is reason enough to tell you the belief bestowed on you. you are the best, make the country proud.” Ottamax adds.
The arrival of Captain Victor Wanyama, Ayub Timbe and Johanna Omollo who have been the team’s main stay for a while now should boost the morale and offer guidance to the new blokes in the team.
“There is no substitute for experience. During my time we had the likes of John Busolo and they would calm your nerves as they slowly nurture you into the team.” He adds.
The ex-international believes Kenya has come of age after producing the likes of Oliech, Wanyama and Olunga. He rates the current crop of players highly and that they should prove their worth on the pitch.
Coach Jacob Ghost Mulee is a seasoned tactician despite his long hiatus and is expected to find the right balance.
Ottamax remembers a game that he played in Uganda in 1999, under coach Majid whom they considered as a father figure and they were trailing 3-0 at halftime.
“Vijana Mbona munanimwangia unga.” Were the only words that the coach uttered at the break and it worked magic as they turned the game around.
He is optimistic that Kenya shall carry the day and has predicted a 3-0 score line. The match will be LIVE on KBC Channel 1 Today as from 7pm.