Wanyama certains his good run in EPL help boost fortunes
10 October 2014, 09:32
Nairobi - Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama believes his award last week as English Premier League (EPL) African Player of the Year for September, will help inspire his team when they face Atlas Lions of Morocco on Monday.
Wanyama, who is in Nairobi together with other members of the Harambee Stars, said Kenya has much to lose in the game and must take it seriously.
"We have been kicked out of the Africa Nations Cup campaign, but these international friendlies are important to gauge the players and also boost the country rankings with Fifa," he said in Nairobi on Thursday.
"There are many African players in England who are better than me. So winning this award is a big achievement for me, it also shows that when I guide Harambee Stars, we have a champion and the opponents can respect us."
Wanyama has also called upon the national team head coach Bobby Williamson to consider recalling Ajaccio striker Dennis Oliech to the team ahead of their trip to Morocco on Sunday.
Williamson has said that Oliech was not part of his plans and was only in camp to train with them and keep himself feet.
The French Ligue 2 striker has said he still has something to offer the national team, but the coach is not ready to use him.
"I hope we will not have too many changes in future and more importantly we need a youth system which makes it possible for the young players to play at this level. But we also need to steel in the team and that can only be provided by the experienced players," said Wanyama.
Also read: Gor Mahia to face their juniors
"Whether Oliech will be recalled is a matter that the boss (coach) will have to decide, it is not up to us players," he added.
Williamson is already facing a striker dilemma, just three days before the team leaves for Morocco.
Gor Mahia forward Timothy Otieno has been forced to withdraw from the team with an ankle injury. He joins Tusker's Jesse Were and Sudan' s El Mereikh forward Allan Wanga on the medical bench. The trio were in the core team for Williamson.
"Injuries are part of the game and it is unfortunate we have lost Timothy Otieno. We don't have Wanga and Were too. It presents a real crisis up-front but we will get a result with what we have at hand," he said.
Williamson also confirmed that Belgium based midfielder Ayub Timbe and Norway based goalkeeper Arnold Origi will link up with the team in Morocco.
But Wanyama, who recently scored his debut goal in the EPL against Swansea, said he will not be focusing so much on scoring, but doing his midfield role to distribute the ball.
"But if a chance comes my way, I am ready to take it and put it home, make an impact in it. Goals will trickle in," said Wanyama.
Morocco will host the 2015 Africa Nations Cup and have since been exempted from the qualification campaign. However, they must keep fit and have arranged a number of friendly matches.
The AFCON will be in January and February 2015.
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