No reaching for the flip flops, Mwalala calls out after historic performance in Tunisia

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) side Bandari FC is very close to getting to the lucrative group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup following a 3 – 2 aggregate win over US Ben Guerdane and while the air is still filled with celebrations, coach Bernard Mwalala is already plotting for the next step and called on his players not to rest on their laurels.

The team lost 1 – 2 out in Tunisia on Sunday 29 September, but having picked a 2 – 0 win in Nairobi, the Dockers advanced 3 – 2 on aggregate, heading to the final round of qualifiers.

Work on attack

The coach observes that there is still work to be done in improving their performance and to try and shield themselves from the risks they encountered in Tunisia, top of which is making full use of chances created.

“We need to work on scoring because we need to kill matches when we have the chance. Football is a game of chances and when you are playing at this level you know you can’t afford to waste them; we had two good chances in the first half and then they scored with theirs,” he admitted.

Bandari got the ticket to represent the country in the competition by virtue of winning the SportPesa Cup and immediately embarking on preparations that saw them camp for preseason in South Africa as well as taking part in the CECAFA Club Championships.

Exposure and experience

Mwalala says they learnt a lot from such and the exposure and experience coming from it have been crucial in their race so far.

“We have been learning a lot, starting from preseason, and we have been doing mistakes and getting punished from them. This is both a lesson and an exposure to the boys; they are young, and have never been in this competition so they are learning through experience,” he added.

Refereeing levels

For a while now, teams facing North African opposition have complained about the standards of officiating and as much as the coach didn’t want to comment on the same, he couldn’t help it.

“At the end of the day we have qualified and I wouldn’t want to complain so much about the level of officiating but I think their first goal was clear offside but we knew it was going to be like this and we had prepared mentally,” he noted.

On Wednesday, Bandari will know their opponents for the final round of qualifiers and just like they have done in the first two rounds, they will be looking to go past it and secure a place at the group stages.