Firat gives detailed Harambee Stars' plan for crunch Gabon fixture amidst injury crisis

FOOTBALL Firat gives detailed Harambee Stars' plan for crunch Gabon fixture amidst injury crisis

Mark Kinyanjui 11:45 - 16.11.2023

Firat has revealed how he has prepared Harambee Stars to deal with the threat of Gabon despite having some of his key players unavailable due to injury.

Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat has revealed how he has prepared his charges for their next two fixtures against Gabon and Seychelles ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

Firat named the final traveling squad for the trip to Gabon, where they will play the Panthers at 7 PM (EAT) on Thursday, with some key players including Erick 'Marcelo' Ouma and Joseph Okumu out for the double header due to injuries.

The Turkish coach has revealed how he has gone into details to mitigate the problems that the side will encounter against Gabon, whose squad consists of a strong group of players.

“We are talking about the whole backline that played against Qatar. It is a big problem, but if I complain, it will not change anything. I will try to talk with the boys to find a solution, which is my job. How do we do it? We will see how to react.

“We are not a world-class team so we have to work on our rivals, so we will make very detailed information and analysis about our rivals so that our boys who will play will be able to understand what is going on.”

Firat has explained how his scouting team has done its research on every player ahead of the two fixtures, which has given them something to work with, saying he used the same methods to help his side do well against Qatar and Russia.

“We go on with the expected first 11 and you see they have players from Serie A, from Turkish league, from Premier League, from Saudi Arabia, from MLS, Red Star Belgrade, Aaron was before goalgetter number one in Turkey, so they have quite big quality in this team.

“We go on like this, for example, the goalkeeper, we expect statistics with a written way, positive and negative sides, what is the weakness, then we go on details with video on defenders with details in statistics and so on.

“Then we go on with videos from every player, so in details like this in defenders, like again, with details in statistics and so on, and to put on for example here, how he starts the game.

“I put it here and explain to the boys that in the moment somebody comes here for pressure, he is going for the long ball. This is the detailed way we work with the players to put pressure on the rival, to let them stop to build up and go for the long ball for example.

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“We do these video sessions with all players so that they know in detail where are the strengths and weaknesses. This is the only way you have in modern football to be ready even if the rival has, on paper, much better players. It is what we did with Russia, Qatar, and so on.

“We have other parts like set pieces, defensive, offensive, how we play them. If there is something interesting where they are playing a different way, we have to be careful.

“We are going in every detail we have prepared for, set pieces, and everything, which is the only way where, even if we are missing our key players, we will be ready for rivals like these.”

The former Eintracht Frankfurt Director of Football has revealed that he has a team for the match against Gabon, pledging that they will give everything because "it is a long marathon"

“We will see in the match. What I know exactly is that we have a team now. The boys will give everything and it is a long marathon,” Firat said.

“It is important what we do till the last day in the business and we have done a great job.