Many at Asante Kotoko blamed departed coach Zdravko Lugarusic for the club’s stagnant run in the Ghana Premier League, despite their current third position on the table with 19 points, four behind leaders WAFA.
The Croatian’s adopted 3-5-2 system of play drew harsh criticisms when it failed to yield goals and victories, culminating in a training ground protest at the outfit’s base in Kumasi, where some supporters attempted to block his access to the facility.
He was eventually fired after only three months in charge of the Porcupine Warriors, with assistant Godwin Ablordey taking over as caretaker.
Kotoko, Ghana Premier League record holders of 24 titles, last won the championship in 2014. Their ambitions for the current campaign are huge, which prompted the appointment of an expatriate coach.
The team had a dream start though, climbing as high as a number one spot on the log at matchday nine, however, their fortunes stagnated and even worsened. They are yet to record a win for four games running, losing twice and sharing the spoils twice at home.
With Lugarusic now out of the way, the Kumasi-based side face an uphill task in their first outing, which is a trip to Wa, to confront title holders Wa All Stars.
The Northern Blues are yet to replicate their blistering form of the previous season which helped them clinch the title. They are yet to claim a victory in their last four games, all ending in draws.
Seventh on the log with 14 points, playing host to Kotoko is an occasion to prove they still matter in the campaign and that they have not voluntarily abandoned their title defence.
A win at home against the Kumasi giants would appease the home fans, many of whom have begun to doubt the chances of their beloved team getting anywhere far on the table this term.
While All Stars want a win to confirm their status as title contenders, Kotoko want to carry the day no matter the scoreline to put to rest arguments that Lugarusic might not be the only problem of the Porcupine Warriors.
With three games to conclude the first half of the season, both teams are aware of the importance of Sunday’s meeting which, apart from being able to reposition them on the log, could bring lots of confidence to soldier on in the campaign.