Madagascar game a test of fitness, says Harambee Stars coach Migne

The Kenya national team Harambee Stars put in the final touches on Thursday 6 June ahead of the friendly match against Madagascar on Friday 7 June as both teams continue with preparations for the 2019 African Cup of Nations and Kenya head coach Sebastien Migne hopes to assess the fitness levels of his players with this game.

The clash, set for 9pm EAT, will be the first of two ahead of the finals in Egypt and it finds the coach with his full squad intact after the arrival of striker Michael Olunga, which really elates the coach.

Injury free

The coach also has an injury free team to pick from but indicated that Olunga, who arrived less than 24 hours ago from his base in Japan, will be used sparingly in the game.

“I am happy because for the first time now I have the full squad in camp and it is really good for the staff because now we can work tactically; it was complicated at the beginning.

“We have no injury and such international matches are important for me to assess the fitness levels of the players. Olunga arrived and it will be risky for me to put him in the starting team,” he noted.

Defensive gains

The coach is looking to build on the defensive gains picked from the qualification process, as he notes that will be a key area in his ambition to get the team to the second stage.

“We were strong defensively during the qualifiers and I think we need to continue that way. If we don’t concede we will be on the right track towards qualification (for the knockout stage),” he added.

A big headache the coach has to deal with, is trimming the 27 – man squad as it is, to 23, for the finals. He notes that a number of factors will come to play but at the end of it, he is happy to have able helpers as the competition approaches.

Not easy

“It is not easy to trim the squad to the final 23; we have to think about all the parameters and to keep the harmony in the team, a good balance in the field, and to have a positive vibe in the team.

“It is not easy but I am not alone, we are working as a technical team,” he said.

Kenya will be making an appearance at the AFCON finals for the first time since 2004.