WC Qualification Africa

Has Olunga hinted Firat is staying as Harambee Stars coach?

10:38 AM WAT 16/11/2021
Kenya captain Michael Olunga vs Rwanda.
Kenya have shown some improvements in the last three matches and the skipper believes Turkish tactician has done well despite the circumstances

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga may have hinted coach Egin Firat has done enough to convince the responsible bodies to extend his contract.

The Turkish tactician came in for an initial two-month contract after the exit of Jacob 'Ghost' Mulee. But in the last three matches, Kenya have shown improvement and on Monday, they claimed a 2-1 win over Rwanda at Nyayo Stadium.

The towering attacker is impressed with what he has seen from the tactician in the little time they have worked together.

'Kenya have seen good play'

"Where did you hear Firat is leaving?" Olunga posed a question to GOAL when asked about his feelings for the former Moldova coach.

"He is a good coach, he has given many opportunities and we have seen good play. Of course, we did not start well [with 5-0 loss] away to Mali, we came back and played well against Uganda but were unlucky at the end, we did not win, and on Monday we won which shows there is progress. There are circumstances you cannot avoid.

"But the responsibility for us as players is to try and work hard on the pitch, that is our role. The rest are beyond us, beyond our capacity, we can do and handle what is in our reach and that is to give Kenyans a reason to smile."

'Objective not achieved but we have learned'

The former Gor Mahia striker was happy to have led Kenya to victory over Amavubi and went on to express his feelings after Kenya failed to make it to the next hurdle.

"We thank God for the three points, it has been a tough game especially in the second half, but I thank all the players for the effort they have shown. They showed character and gave their best and eventually we got the three points," Olunga continued.

"It is good we have finished the campaign with a win, we will now embark on future assignments, work hard on weaknesses and improve on our strengths as well.

"When we started the qualifiers, our aim was to qualify for the second round and eventually make it to the World Cup. Unfortunately, we did not achieve that; but we have collected some positives throughout the journey, different challenges at different levels.

"However, the most impressive thing is that a lot of local-based players have been given a chance to showcase their talents and they have given their best. The stage was big and I am happy most of them have managed to get the exposure and I believe going forward, they will be ready for even bigger assignments.

"In these qualifiers, you have to try and win your home games, and going forward we should learn to take advantage of our home ground. We picked a draw and a win here at home, but in future, if we get wins at home, we will stand a better chance of advancing.

Kenya's star striker has also offered some words of wisdom for aspiring Harambee Stars players.

"I challenge my fellow players to continue working hard because the coach will be watching to establish good players. From their effort we will have a wider pool of players to select from to form a strong team to perform better in forthcoming assignments," he concluded.