Gor Mahia deputy head coach John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla has said that his charges will employ a cautious approach in the much anticipated Tusker Premier League derby against perennial adversaries AFC Leopards on Saturday.
Ogolla cautioned his charges against being carried away by their current good run saying underrating Leopards would be detrimental.
“We are talking to the players to go out there and play their game. We are telling them to take this game like any other and not to be over awed by the fact that our opponents will be AFC Leopards,” Ogolla told Goal.com.
“We may be on top of the game but football dynamics have changed. We did well to close the gap on Leopards but we must have respect to all teams including our rivals on Saturday.”
Ogolla has been in such situations before when Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards dominated the national and regional soccer scene and he understands the pressures that come with such matches when both sides are eyeing the title.
But he is telling his charges not to play to the gallery but keep their eye on the ball.
“This is a crucial match for both sides. Nobody wants to lose but I’m telling everyone, the fans included, that at the end of the day, it will be only three points at stake. Of course there will be bragging rights, but to us this is just another 90 minute match.”
The former Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars player relates Saturday game to the 1980s when the two sides were the teams to beat, when matches between them would arouse so much passion and results not taken lightly by the losing side.
“The current crop of players in both sides does not understand the pressures that a derby comes with but it is for us as coaches to take that pressure off them. I have been in such situation and it can be nerve-wrecking,” said the 52 year old white haired Ogolla.
For Gor, victory is inevitable with the hard tackling Ugandan defender Ivan Anguyo also being in a buoyant mood.
“It will be like any other league game but I don't expect anything short of a clear-cut victory," said the 25-year old whom Gor acquired from Kampala City Council (KCC).
The Ugandan import has been a key pillar in K’ogalo’s central defense forming a strong partnership with the towering Donald Mosoti.