When he took over the coaching reins at Thika United after his predecessor Nicholas Muyoti quit in a huff, John Njogu found disillusioned players who had resigned to fate following a spate of indifferent results by the team in the SportPesa Premier League (SPL).
Despite Thika United beating Wazito 1-0 just before Njogu had properly acquainted with the players at his new team, previous defeats at the hands of Nzoia Sugar (0-3) and Gor Mahia (5-3) were unfathomable as they were puzzling for a team that is entrenched at the lower reaches of the league.
But it seems the arrival of Njogu at Thika United was the panacea Thika United needed to evade relegation in the league after the former Mount Kenya University football team coach won his first match with the team at the weekend in a 3-1 dispatch of Sony Sugar.
Not that Thika United are out of the woods yet, but the affable tactician has declared that he has seen a fighting spirit amongst players and which may ultimately help the team avoid the big chop at the end of the season.
“The audacity amongst players is amazing. Obviously, things have not been going our way but with determination and hard work we’ll be talking of Thika United winding up amongst the best 10 teams in the league. That’s possible for a good measure,” observed Njogu.
Despite the weekend success, Thika are clutching onto the 16th position in the 18-team chart with 15 points from the same number of matches played with the team next playing AFC Leopards this weekend In the meantime, Mathare United shot themselves on the feet in a far as closing the gap on leaders Gor Mahia is concerned after they settled for an uninspiring goalless draw with Bandari.
Mathare who are in the second slot and two points adrift of K’Ogalo will be seeking to tame Kakamega Homeboyz in their next fixture in their bid to have a touching distance of the table-toppers.
Elsewhere, after going down to Sofapaka the previous weekend, Vihiga United under Edward Manoah appeased their fans in a 2-1 victory over Wazito at home.
However, Vihiga who are placed in the 14th position in the chart will be required to win more matches to avoid drifting into the relegation zone.
Another successful side was Nzoia Sugar who staged a ‘dare-devilish’ act in Nairobi by overcoming Posta Rangers 2-1.
The win at Camp Toyoyo ground in Jericho on Sunday was no doubt a big boost for Nzoia going into their next game against Chemelil Sugar.
In Machakos, AFC Leopards stuttering performance continued after they surrendered a two- goal lead to draw 2-2 with basement team Nakumatt.