By Timothy Olobulu
Nairobi — The pressure cooker is expected to start hissing on the ears of Tusker FC head coach George ‘Best’ Nsimbe as the postmortem for the 2017 season begins at the Ruaraka based club, following a season where the 11-time Kenyan Premier League champions will finish off without a medal on their necks.
Ugandan Nsimbe came into the side with the huge task of filling the boots of fellow countryman Paul Nkata who guided the side to a double last season, but the efforts have driven on flat tyres.
The Brewers are a massive 20 points behind leaders Gor Mahia with seven rounds of league matches left while the wheels came off their defense of the GOtv Shield title at the Quarter Final stage when they lost 2-0 to National Super League side Vihiga United.
As he looks back to what he terms as a ‘dead season’ Nsimbe, speaking to Capital Sport has admitted this is his worst year as a coach.
“This is the worst season I have seen in my coaching career. I have been in Uganda and Tanzania where I did well and won titles but for me, this is the worst. But I will not give up; I know I can do so much more for this club,” the Ugandan said, in huge faith that the top management at Tusker will retain faith in him.
“Honestly this was a dead year for us and we have to go back and plan for next season. Our problem was that we conceded so many goals and we didn’t score. That’s why we are where we are now,” he added.
Even as he maintains a brave face that his squad will walk off the tumultuous hot-coal path unscathed for 2017, the players have thrown their weight behind the soft spoken man whose debut season in Kenya has not been as ‘best’ as his name.
Skipper James Situma has admitted that the season has been tough for them, but maintains confidence things will be better in 2018, urging the club’s management to keep faith in the coaching team.
“We have to support the coach as players because its football. Sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. Whether there are changes depends with the management but for us we are behind the coach and we will play to our best to ensure we finish the season on a high,” the experienced defender noted.
“Always as a club, our target is to go for the title but this season we started on a low and it really turned out to cost us. We have to learn from our mistakes and now we need to keep fighting till the end because getting to number two is possible,” Nsimbe stated.
Tusker have struggled to be consistent this season after Nsimbe started his tenure with snail pace. They ultimately picked up and had a decent run of seven wins on the trot between April and May.
However, just after travelling to Tanzania for the SportPesa Super Cup, they returned to their domestic campaign for a struggle as they won only two of their next 10 domestic matches. One of those two wins was a GOtv Shield clash against lowly Butterfly FC.
Their surge to keep their title was further dented when Zoo Kericho plucked three points right under their feathers after winning a case at the Disciplinary Committee after the brewers beat them in Kericho without presenting player cards.
If given another opportunity to lead the Kenyan giants for one more season, Nsimbe has promised he will flight them back to the top, but he has hinted he will have to rake into the transfer market for ‘younger players’.
“We have to at least reinforce the squad. We have had a problem with scoring and majority of the players, almost 50 percent are a little bit aged. We need at least some young boys who can reinforce the team. We will not make a lot of changes but at least we have to bring in strong players,” Nsimbe hinted.
He says their target for the remaining seven games of the season will be to push for a top three finish. They are placed sixth in the standings with 40 points, five off second placed Sofapaka and Nsimbe is strong convinced with a last ditch effort they can rake into second spot.
After their stalemate with Kariobangi Sharks on Wednesday in Nairobi, the alemen turn their daggers on relegation fighting Muhoroni Youth who they face on Sunday at the Ruaraka Complex.
AllAfrica News: Sport