Beating Kotoko my next agenda – Medeama Coach

Ahead of their Ghana Premier League (GPL) week 31 clash in Tarkwa, Medeama SC Coach, Abdul Umar Rabi has fired the first salvo to opponents, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, stating that Medeama would delay plans for Kotoko’s coronation as champions.

“Kotoko can look at other places including their home venue for coronation but certainly not Tarkwa. We’ll beat them to take all the points. They can’t start partying at Tarkwa.”

“Tarkwa is not an easy place to play. We make it difficult for teams to play there. We’ll be preparing and waiting for Kotoko so that we can finish them,” Coach Rabi said after earning a famous 2-1 win against Great Olympics in Accra that propelled Medeama to second place.

Sensing an opportunity to narrow the points gap between his side and Kotoko to three points with one outstanding game in Kotoko’s favour, Coach Umar is plotting to push Kotoko all the way.

“The plan is to make the title race stiffer and more challenging for them while weighing our options if they slip.”

Medeama have placed themselves as the main title contenders of the league leaders after an impressive run in five games -winning three and drawing two – launched them into second spot on the table with 50 points, six points adrift Kotoko.

Despite sitting on top on the league, Kotoko, have witnessed their comfortable lead shrink considerably after suffering a dip in form; losing three and earning just a win and a draw from the last five outings.

Kotoko may rely on their enviable results as the best team on the road, winning six and losing twice with five games ending in stalemates in 13 outings.

But this record will be tested against a Medeama team that have won 13 times at home and recorded just one loss and a draw in 15 home outings while exhibiting a unique fighting spirit to bounce back from losing position to win 2-1 against Olympics.

Umar elated by that win said his excitement was not only a result of the win but from the performance put up by his boys.

“This win is great for us. Olympics is good at home. And at a venue where we have struggled for results it’s really great. I’m not just happy at the win but at the fact that we also played well.”

The promising 36-year old gaffer described the league as extremely competitive but expressed concern about the timing of the release of the report on match-fixing allegations involving Ashanti Gold and Inter Allies calling it a distraction.

“You can tell the competitive nature of this year’s league by the number of away wins recorded, it wasn’t a known feature in previous seasons. The points build-up between the teams are very narrow. One win can change your fortunes on the standings. The volatile nature shows you how competitive the league is.”

“Meanwhile matches of convenience should be taken seriously. It doesn’t help the league. You prepare very well and at the end, the game is fixed, it doesn’t help anyone. There should be sanity in the league. It is the only way of boosting the league’s reputation.

He, however, disagreed with the timing of the release: “I don’t think the timing was right. At least they could have waited until the end of the season. The postponement of the Ashgold vs Kotoko game is an indication. I don’t believe at this point of the league, the release was helpful.”

Coach Umar, however admitted that the punishment meted out to the culprits in the report was enough deterrent measure to guard against future occurrences.

Medeama captain, Kwasi Donsu who won the Man-of-the Match accolade attributed the win to the two losses suffered at the venue this season against Accra Lions and Hearts of Oak that led them vowing against losing a third time.

He said the win was a rallying point to push Kotoko aggressively for the league title.

BY NANA BENTSI ODURO

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