Gor Mahia coach Zdravko Logarusic downplays absence of Teddy Akumu in return match against Anse Reunion

The premiership midfielder of the year, was was sent off late in the second half of the contest that ended in a barren draw for committing a professional foul
Gor Mahia coach Zradvko Logarusic has downplayed the absence of key midfielder Teddy Akumu who will miss their return Confederations Cup match against Anse Reunion after being red carded in the first leg match played at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.

Akumu was sent off late in the second half of the contest that ended in a barren draw for committing a professional foul. He pulled down a goal bound opponent in a move that earned him a straight red card.

The player who was last year voted the midfielder of the year, received a standing ovation from Gor Mahia fans despite being sent off, clearly aware of how much he had saved the club from conceding a goal.

Logarusic said they will have able replacement for the player who has been compared by many to former France international Patrick Vierra.

"We have the necessary people to replace him for the return match and so his absence is not our priority at the moment," Logarusic told Goal.com.

Logarusic pointed out that the player did not rise up to the occasion during Saturday's match and therefore, does not deserve to feature in the second leg.

"He was not impressive at all just like most of our key players and so we will not miss him," he pointed out. Gor will play the return match on March 2 in Seychelles with the winner taking on Egyptian side ENPPI.

Meanwhile, captain Jerim Onyango has assured the club's faithful that all is not lost for them despite being held to a barren draw by Anse Re Union.

The result put Gor in an akward position and left them staring at another early elimination from the continental scene.

However, Onyango believes they can still win the return match convincingly and make it to the first round. "We played very well but were just unlucky. We had atleast ten chances at goal which we failed to take advantage of."

"Our opponents may have an advantage going into the return match but we are confident this is a side that we can easily beat when we meet again. Our fans should not give up on account of that result. They should continue believing in us and our ability to make it to the second round."

The team resumes training immediately for this weekend's DSTV Super Cup against Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Tusker at Nyayo Stadium in what will serve as the season opener.