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Gor Mahia’s McKinstry reveals big AFC Leopards weakness

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024 11:28 | By
AFC Leopards in action against Gor Mahia during the Mashemeji Derby. PHOTO/AFC Leopards/Facebook
AFC Leopards in action against Gor Mahia during the Mashemeji Derby. PHOTO/AFC Leopards/Facebook

Gor Mahia head coach Johnathan McKinstry has revealed a major tactical flaw that cost AFC Leopards during the Mashemeji Derby on Sunday, April 22, 2024.

Gor Mahia yet again claimed the bragging rights of the derby when they emerged as 1-0 winners and earned points that propelled them closer to yet another historical Premier League title. 

McKinstry, speaking after the match held at Nyayo Stadium, likened AFC Leopards flaws to what he believes has been witnessed with English giants Manchester United.

“AFC have a very clear strategy. They press high, but they leave their defence deep. We sort of referred to it as the Manchester United strategy. 

“It is the same way as ten Hag’s pressing, where the front five push very high but the defense drops off deeper than they probably should," McKinstry is quoted as saying by a local publication. 

Gor Mahia managed to outclass their traditional rivals despite doing duty with ten men after they were reduced in the tense encounter.

“We had to be brave and not kick it long. At halftime, we told the guys that being brave in terms of getting our two central midfielders on the ball behind AFC Leopards’ pressure line was key to us winning the game," the tactician added. 

Tactical tweak

The former Rwanda and Sierra Leone head coach further discussed why they were pleased with Ingwe's line-up before and during the game. 

“They are quite a direct team anyway, and we know that from the way they play. When they brought on (Brian) Yakhama and (Arthur) Gitego, we were very pleased about that because it was very obvious they were going to go very direct, which is why we started Joshua Onyango ahead of Kennedy Onyango, which may have raised a few eyebrows. 

“They are quite a direct team anyway, and we know that through. But we know Joshua Onyango, his one-on-one performances, speed, and passion would help, and he and Sylvester were fantastic," he concluded. 

AFC Leopards fans at Nyayo Stadium during the Mashemeji Derby. PHOTO/AFC Leopards/Facebook

Gor Mahia are now a few games away from defending the title, as they are leading with a nine-point gap. Recent setbacks by Tusker, their current real rivals, just gave the giants an advantage in the title race. 

Given that K'Ogalo are solely focused on the league after their elimination from the FKF Cup, their playing unit is expected to be very energetic in the remaining part of the campaign.

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