McKinstry details Gor Mahia’s transfer strategy as he warns against complacency

© Gor Mahia.

FOOTBALL McKinstry details Gor Mahia’s transfer strategy as he warns against complacency

Joel Omotto 08:00 - 05.03.2024

Gor Mahia coach Johnathan McKinstry has revealed how he plans to approach the transfer market while warning his players against taking their 10-point league lead for granted.

Gor Mahia head coach Johnathan McKinstry has ruled out a big signing spree as long as he is at the club.

McKinstry, who is in his second season with Gor Mahia, believes it is not wise to sign a lot of players like it has been the norm among Kenyan clubs and even at K’Ogalo previously.

Gor Mahia signed midfielders Lawrence Juma and Kevin Juma, defender Kennedy ‘Vidic’ Onyango, goalkeeper Kevin Omondi, Rwandan attacker Patrick Sibomana and his Ugandan counterpart Rogers Mugisha before the start of this campaign and added winger Shariff Musa, Enock Wanyama, Mark Shaban and Musa Masika in January, a strategy he is keen to maintain.

“There is a tradition here in Kenya where you see some teams going out to sign 10, 12 or 15 players in the transfer window. You will never see me do that,” said McKinstry.

“For me, it is always three, four, five players in the transfer window because you have to keep that team cohesion and if you add too many, it breaks the cohesion.

“In the last transfer window, we added something in defence, midfield and a striker, and then in January, we have added some guys on the wing so it is a progressive thing.”

The Northern Irishman has also emphasised the importance of long-term planning when it comes to transfers, saying he already has his targets for the next window.

“I do not give them a list of players for just one transfer window, I say, here is the list of targets that over the next 18 to 24 months, we are going to monitor and we should try to bring them to the club progressively not all of them once,” he added.

“Already, we have been speaking to the guys that we want to bring in in July so it is a progressive thing. Wanyama, and Shariff Musa are players we have been interested in for a long time.

"We saw Musa Masika get on, still lacking the fitness but has the ability to play those passes through into the attacking line so it is about building a team progressively not overnight.”

McKinstry’s signings have greatly improved his squad, adding depth and quality, and he has reaped the benefits of a great run in the league that sees them top of the standings with 50 points, 10 ahead of both Tusker FC and Bandari.

With the healthy lead, the tactician has warned his charges against resting on their laurels, especially with a meeting against Bandari coming this weekend.

“It is ours to lose but we have to take every game at a time, we have had a difficult run of fixtures recently, next we will play the last of the top six,” said McKinstry.

“In the last seven weeks, we have played all of the top six and they still have to play each other but it does not mean it gets easy for us.

“We know every game is difficult and we have to guard against complacency and from the very beginning of my time here, we have said to the guys it is about being better than we were yesterday.”

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