It is cold and lonely at the bottom of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) log, and Chemelil Sugar feel the full brunt of it, being the only team yet to pick a point in the season, albeit having played a game less.
Heading to Match Day 4, the Millers head coach Francis Baraza is keen on inspiring his charges to a positive result when they face AFC Leopards away in Kakamega County, in a clash set for Sunday 29 September at Mumias Sports Complex.
Ahead of this game, Chemelil Sugar picked a 0 – 4 loss to Sofapaka, having also fallen 1 – 3 to Zoo FC on the opening weekend of the season. Their match against Gor Mahia on Match Day 2 was postponed.
An optimistic Baraza, showing full trust in his players intimated that he will not make too many changes to his squad, only looking to address the weaknesses spotted, especially in the Sofapaka loss.
“It has not been a very good start for us but these are things that happen in football. Against Sofapaka we collapsed in the second half and most of it was down to poor marking and a lack of communication when it mattered.
“We have a week in between to prepare and we will rectify that. I have very good players and I trust them fully so rather than make wholesome changes, we will work together to see that we get a better output. They are still growing as players so we only need the mental strength here,” he said.
Chemelil Sugar have picked just one win in their last 11 KPL matches and have no win in the last five matches against AFC Leopards but that will be the least of worries for Baraza.
He is only focused on the 90 minutes ahead and will first be employing caution, at least to avoid another loss.
“We have a big 90 minutes ahead of us and both teams start the game on clean sheets and a point. We first want to try and fight for that at least then see how it goes. All in all, where we are on the table is more of psychological and we want to change that this weekend,” he added.
In the game, The Millers will be without goalkeeper Daniel Kiptoo. The former AFC Leopards custodian has domestic issues and has been granted compassionate leave.
Midfielder David Simiyu (hamstring) and Athman Rashid (knock) are set for assessment by the team doctor on Wednesday to determine their availability for the clash.