Matano tells under-performing Otieno to sober up

Tusker FC head coach Robert Matano has warned his lead attacker Timothy Otieno against complacency, asserting that he will have to churn out consistent performances in order to keep his regular starting spot. Otieno, despite being the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) top scorer with 12 goals after 22 rounds started on the bench last weekend coming on as a second half substitute in the 2-2 draw with the relegation-threatened Kisumu All Stars. Despite minimal play time, he scored Tusker’s second, but it was hot enough to secure the three points and his tactician wants more from him. Matano who won the KPL crown with the brewers in 2012, said the decision to consign his lethal man to the substitutes bench was informed by his poor form warning that he must work hard to reclaim his position. Otieno and Kacand Brian Marita were dropped to the bench in favour of George Ogutu, Jackson Macharia and Luke Namanda against All Stars as Tusker squandered the opportunity to close the gap on the league leaders Gor Mahia. “Scoring goals is not enough and he (Otieno) has to put in more efforts because that is what has been lacking in him hence he could not make it to the starting lineup. He is a good player but he must prove himself and pick it from there,” Matano warned. The former AFC Leopards tactician further decried his side’s lack of concentration and unnecessary fouling which saw All Stars draw blood in the dying minutes of the encounter from the magical foot of Eric Otieno whose superb free kick grabbed the valuable point taking into account the looming relegation fight. “Two games in a row we have given the lead away in the final minutes of the match. It’s not good on our side because we have had serious lapses in concentration and communication. We have to work on our levels especially in the defence if we are to avoid such mistakes,” he decried. Matano who has vowed to push Gor Mahia to the wall for the title added that he will not relent in his quest to reclaim the diadem they last won in 2016. “We plan to continue working and hope to rectify these mistakes we have been witnessing. They are so many, easy goals but we are going to work on that. It is difficult to reduce the gap between us and Gor Mahia but that would have been easier if we were winning but now it almost looks impossible going by such performances,” he averred. Tusker will hope to sober up as they prepare to face bottom placed Chemelil Sugar FC in their next outing. The 2016 champions are sitting third on the log with 43 points, eight behind Gor Mahia who have played one match more.

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