Triumphant McKinstry scoffs at Gor Mahia critics after nervy title win

FKFPL: Triumphant McKinstry scoffs at Gor Mahia critics after nervy title win

Joel Omotto 20:20 - 25.06.2023

The tactician lauded his players for winning against the odds after overcoming a lot of off-field issues in the just-concluded season

Gor Mahia coach Jonathan McKinstry has lauded his players for proving their doubters wrong following their title triumph on Sunday.

McKinstry’s men came from a goal down to win 4-1 against Nairobi City Stars at Kasarani Stadium and claim a record-extending 20th league title.

Gor came into the season-ending match on 67 points, one ahead Tusker FC, and needed to win to be sure of wrapping up the title but had to endure a roller-coaster ride before triumphing.

K’Ogalo looked nervous in the first half which ended goalless before being shocked by their hosts five minutes after halftime, but they responded in style to send their fans into dreamland.

It is a win that left McKinstry delighted as he feels his side did it against the odds having not been among the title contenders at the start of the campaign, in light of their transfer ban and other off field issues, that included player go slows over delayed payment of their salaries.

“Few coaches and players get to experience moments like these, winning trophies, 18 teams in the league especially this season that has been so challenging,” McKinstry said after the match.

“A lot of challenges at K’Ogalo, there were times when we had seven or eight players training because of off-field issues also, to come back from the transfer ban that we had, a lot of young players.

“If you had asked people in the streets in July last year that K’Ogalo had any chance of winning the league, every five out of 10 would have said yes, most people thought that we would be mid table this season due to the issues off the field but the players stepped up and grown up a lot and its fantastic, they deserved this.”

The Northern Irishman also explained why he was not worried about his side letting the title slip out of their hands when City Stars scored first in the 50th minute.

“We knew that City Stars are a team that even if they take the lead, if you put pressure on them, they can crack like if you look a few days ago against Talanta, they were 2-0 and Talanta came back to draw 2-2,” he added.

“City Stars are a good and developing team but we knew even if they do take the lead, don’t worry. I was also super positive with all the supporters in the stadium today that if they scored one we would go on and score a few goals.”

Gor, who ended the season with 70 points, one ahead of Tusker who beat Vihiga Bullets 4-0, have now reclaimed the title that they last won in 2020 leaving them on 20, seven ahead of the brewers, who are Kenya’s second most successful team.