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CAF Confederation Cup

Caf Confederation Cup: Kipkirui set to return for Gor Mahia against DC Motemba Pembe

10:34 AM GMT+4 22/10/2019
NICHOLAS KIPKIRUIMUSTAPIA BELABRIMOHAMED LAMINE of Gor Mahia and USM Alger.
The K’Ogalo coach reveals to Goal the former Zoo Kericho striker will be available to play in the play-off battle on the weekend

Gor Mahia striker Nicholas Kipkirui is set to return as they face Daring Club Motema Pembe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the play-off stage of the Caf Confederation Cup on Sunday.

Kipkirui was missing in action as K'Ogalo edged out Kariobangi Sharks in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match played at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru last Sunday.

However, coach Steven Polack has confirmed to Goal the striker, who joined K’Ogalo from Zoo Kericho a season ago, is now available and could play a role against Motema Pembe.

“I will only have Nicholas [Kipkirui] returning for the Caf match,” Polack told Goal. “He received some stitches on his head but I know he will be fine now to play. I will check him out again on Tuesday [today] when we resume training.

“I decided to give my players a day off on [Monday] because of the intensity of the game they played against Sharks. The players needed to rest and have to focus now on getting a positive result on Sunday.”

Asked on the match against Motema Pembe, Polack said: “I am still studying videos of their previous games. I don’t know them honestly; I have not been following the team so I am not sure what style of football they play but I hope the videos will help me out.”

The Briton coach has also maintained his main aim is to get into the group stage of the competition for the second season in a row.

“We can only stand a chance of making it to the group stage if we use our home advantage and since we are starting at home, we need to win convincingly,” Polack continued.

“I want to see the team do well in the Caf competition, my intentions are to have them reach the group stage again, I know it is possible and all we need is the support of every Kenyan.

“I don’t want a situation where we will head to the return leg trailing and of course we must score many goals if we can. I will deploy an attacking game and also we must protect the back because giving them the away goal will also be a huge mistake.”

The Kenyan champions dropped to the second-tier continental competition after going down to USM Alger of Algeria in the Caf Champions League second round of qualification in a 6-1 aggregate defeat.

In the 2018/19 season, Gor Mahia managed to reach the quarter-finals of the Confederation Cup after dropping from the Champions League but were eliminated by RS Berkane in a 7-1 aggregate defeat.