Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne urged to find right balance in Kenya's midfield

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John Baraza argues that the midfield is a key part of the team and a successful pairing eases the work of other areas

Sofapaka coach John Baraza has urged Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne to find the right balance in his side's midfield pairing.

Baraza, who retired from the national team eight years ago, argued that the midfield is a vital part of any team because the backline and the attacking front heavily depends on it functioning effectively.

Baraza has called on the national team coach to deploy the best pairing in that department when he takes Kenya to Egypt for the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Migne has a rich pool of midfielders at his disposal, including captain Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspur, England), Dennis Odhiambo (Sofapaka), Anthony Akumu (Zesco United, Zambia) and Ismael Gonzalez, who plays for Spanish club UD Las Palmas Atlético.

“I only challenge Migne to get his cards right in midfield. That is the department that needs re-organization a little bit. Not that he has gotten it wrong before but I only opine that he should deploy the right pairing because that is the engine of the team," Baraza told Goal in an exclusive interview.

“The defense relies on it and the attacking front relies on it too so the challenge is to the coach to see that he gives Kenyans the right pairing at the middle of the starting squad."

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Kenya will start their Afcon campaign against Algeria in Group C after Senegal and Tanzania have opened the group’s fixtures in an early kick-off on June 23.

Baraza was among the Stars’ contingent that last played in Afcon in 2004 in Tunisia, and was on the score sheet when Kenya dismantled Burkina Faso 3-0 in the last group match.

Baraza played for Kenya over a 12-year period between 1999 and 2011, made 44 appearances and scored 21 goals.

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