Coach insists Eagles won't intimidate his players, move training base
Harambee Stars midfielder David Gateri has been ruled out of next week’s game due to injury.
Gateri who was influential in the first round match in Calabar was injured while playing for his South African based team Salt River Blackpoo ASD in the South African second division.
Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche rued his absence saying The news had affected his plans since the player played a fundamental role in Nigeria.
"Gateri has been ruled out of the Nigeria return match because of an injury he got while playing for his team. This is a big blow for us as he was an established player in the team and I will have to quickly try and get his replacements before we face Nigeria next week," Amrouche told supersport.com.
"Our preparations are going on well but this is the time a coach does not want to be faced with issues such as injuries as they disrupt all plans put in place," he added.
Meanwhile Amrouche has insisted his team will not be intimidated by Nigeria when they meet on June 5.
“We have a young squad and I expect to field a good number of local players. I believe they are capable of giving us positive results against Nigeria.
“The training has been good, so far. We still have a few more days to tie up lose ends,” said the coach.
Amrouche also announced that the team will move to Naivasha Wednesday for specialised training ahead of the World Cup qualifier.
“We have settled on Naivasha because it is conducive and will give our players the concentration required to focus on the game. We don’t want them to be distracted by other family and domestic problems,” Amrouche said.
He also confirmed that Genk forward Ayub Timbe and Parma midfielder, MacDonald Mariga, have pulled out of his squad to face Nigeria. Timbe cited ‘personal’ reasons for his decision to pull out of the team while Mariga is scheduled to undergo an operation in the US.
But the coach is unhappy by Timbe’s move since it was not related to injury and he would have been a good addition to the squad.
This is the second time Timbe has declined a call-up for national duty. He refused to play for Kenya in the first leg of their World Cup qualifier against Nigeria claiming he is owed ticket refunds. Football Kenya Federation (FKF) denied the allegations.
“I am disappointed that Timbe has refused to honour national duty due to personal reasons. This was his chance to make a difference considering the level of opposition we are facing. Playing Nigeria is a great opportunity for any player to build his career.
“With this attitude, he should not expect any further call-ups to the national team because I am only willing to work with those who are ready to work with me,” the coach pointed out.