Elly Kalekwa: Sofapaka President believes it’s too early to press panic buttons

Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 01:40 | By
Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa at a past function. PHOTO/Rodgers Ndegwa
Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa at a past function. PHOTO/Rodgers Ndegwa

Sofapaka President Elly Kalekwa says it is too early to press panic buttons even as the team dropped to the bottom of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League table after picking a single point from four matches.

Despite reinforcing the squad with quality signings in the last transfer window and hiring the services of Burundian coach Francis Haringingo, Batoto ba Mungu have had their worst start to any season and are currently languishing at the bottom of the 18-team table.

Sofapaka, who won the league on their debut season in 2009, drew 1-1 in their season opener against champions Gor Mahia,  and then suffered three straight defeats – starting with 1-0 against Bandari, 3-1 against Posta Rangers, and Sunday’s 1-0 result against Ulinzi Stars.

Though Kalekwa has conceded the result was not pleasing his eyes, he has refused to press the panic button insisting the team will turn their fortunes for the better in upcoming matches.

“I am just shocked like everyone is shocked because the boys are playing very nice football but we are not winning matches,” Kalekwa told People Sports, adding: “I have attended all the four matches so far this season and I want to admit the players are giving their all but luck is not our side.”

He added: “Even the players have told me they are doing everything to get a win but nothing has been achieved yet. I have paid them their salaries, I have paid everyone in the team including the technical bench, so that is not an issue, the issue is winning matches and we want to leave it to God.”

Asked if new coach Haringingo’s job was under scrutiny owing to the poor results, Kalekwa said: “It is too early to judge the coach, he has only been in charge for four matches but of course, it will reach a time when they (the bench) will have to show why they deserve to be in the job if the current form continues.

“It is true the results are worrying and Haringingo and his team must try their best to rectify what we are seeing and get positive results otherwise, if it continues the way it is, then something urgent will have to be done to save the situation from getting out of hands.”

On Monday Kalekwa confirmed the arrival of former international Ezekiel Akwana to join the technical bench as an assistant coach. Meanwhile, Haringingo has acknowledged he is now under pressure to produce positive results.

Speaking after losing to Ulinzi, the Burundian gaffer said: “My players had outclassed our challengers in every aspect until they got the free-kick which they successfully converted to a goal and that’s football, you are punished by making a mistake and you win by utilising the chances that you get.”

He added: “Our mission now is to go back to the drawing board and work on scoring because I trust the forwards are capable of finding the back of the net in order for us to start collecting three points. This week we are going to work have an intense training session as we prepare to battle Nairobi City Stars at the weekend.”

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