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Wanyama focused on leading Kenya past Zambia in Afcon qualifier

Harambee Stars captain and Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama linked up with the national team yesterday and declared himself mentally stable to face Zambia in Africa Cup of Nations qualifier just days after his botched move to Tottenham Hotspur.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman rested Wanyama last weekend claiming the Kenyan midfielder was mentally distracted by Spurs 18 million pound offer to prise him from St Mary’s but the 24-year-old said he’s too strong a player to lose focus from such situations.

“I’m very ready to lead Kenya this weekend and hoping that we’ll record our first win in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AfCoN) qualifier despite everything that has happened lately at club level. I have developed well in football over the years making me very strong physically and mentally.

Therefore, talk of mental distraction does not arise with me. I’m too strong for that,” Wanyama declared at Nyayo Stadium yesterday Prodded over his allegiance to Southampton after the club blocked his exit despite him handing in a transfer request, Wanyama said he’s a Southampton player and a happy one for that matter.

“I have a running contract with Southampton and intend to remain there until something comes up. I’m happy there because of the chance and faith they have in me. My focus at the moment is helping my club finish at the best possible position in the league and also see Kenya make progress in the continent and world level if possible,” he added.

Kenya is aiming to consolidate her lead in Group E with victory over Zambia on Sunday after posting a one-all away draw to Congo in the opening group game in June. Zambia and minnows Guinea Bissau occupy the bottom two positions in the group after posting a barren draw in Lusaka.

The Zambian team, Chipolopolo, is expected to jet in today. Kenyan coach Bobby Williamson said he’ll approach the game cautiously after noting that teams are more offensive in away matches. “So many teams won away and even Kenya nearly won in Congo. It’s because home teams tend to attack more leaving their back-line exposed.

We must be careful to avoid losing at home. This is a good opportunity to consolidate our lead at the top of Group E which means all the players must work hard and smart for a good result to be realised,” he said.

Parma midfielder Macdonald Mariga is not expected in the camp owing to tribulations stalking the former Serie A club. Goalkeeper Arnold Origi is however, expected to link up with the team today as Williamson leaves positions open for all to work for.

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