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Okumbi: It will be very hard for us to qualify

Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi has conceded the team’s chances of qualifying for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations are “next to impossible”.

While addressing journalists at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport upon the team’s arrival from Guinea Bissau on Thursday evening, Okumbi also defended his team selection during Stars 1-0 loss to the West Africans on Wednesday night.

“It will be tough to qualify now, almost next to impossible. We won’t give up though, our new target is to score victories in the remaining games,” Okumbi said.

The former Mathare United coach had on Thursday come under pressure from fans for his team selection.


However, the coach defended his decision to field Patillah Omotto and Ovella Ochieng who were the subject of heavy criticism from the fans.

“These players are youngsters. They had trained with us for the past fortnight and we had assessed them physically. Our plan is to integrate such players into the team gradually,” he said.

On fielding players out of position, Okumbi was also unapologetic.

“Musa Mohammed has played at right back before, same to Situma at left back. This wasn’t the first time they were playing in those positions and we didn’t lose the match for that reason.”

Stars are bottom of Group E with a single point from three matches. The team’s fixtures in the campaign are against Guinea Bissau on Sunday and home and away ties against the Republic of Congo and Zambia respectively.