Gicumbi coach urges players to fight relegation threat

Under pressure Gicumbi FC head coach Godfroid Okoko has cautioned his players to roll up their sleeves as the Northern Province-based side’s chance to play in the topflight next season continue to dwindle.

Saturday

APR FC vs Espoir 3:30pm
Gicumbi vs Sunrise FC
Bugesera vs Musanze
Etincelles vs AS Kigali
Amagaju vs Mukura

Sunday
Rayon Sports vs Kirehe FC 3:30pm
Pepinieres vs Marines

Under pressure Gicumbi FC head coach Godfroid Okoko has cautioned his players to roll up their sleeves as the Northern Province-based side’s chance to play in the topflight next season continue to dwindle.

The former Mukura Victory Sports coach made the remarks following his side’s 6-1 defeat against league leaders Rayon Sports on Tuesday at Kigali Stadium, a result that dented their fight for survival.

The defeat left them glued in the 15th position in the 16-team league table standing with 21 points, two behind 14th-placed Marines FC.

The Gicumbi district-sponsored side appointed the experienced Burundian tactician in February taking over from Hussein Barack and was given a six-month contract subject to extension, if he achieved the unenviable task of keeping the club in the topflight.

However, since his appointment, Gicumbi has failed to escape the red zone and the heavy defeat against Rayon Sports on Tuesday sent a clear indication of a tough job he needs to do to save the club’s status in the national league.

Nonetheless, with five games remaining and being only two from safety, Okoko, who has built a reputation of saving teams from relegation, has demanded his players to show professional attitude to pull themselves out of their current malaise.

“That was a very disappointing defeat, but I attribute it to technical errors that we committed, we came into the game with a plan to avoid conceding a goal in the first 15 minutes and instead we ended up conceding two, so it changed everything,” said Okoko.

He added, “It is not going to be easy (to survive); however, it is very much possible, we are left with five games, which is a total of 15 points, that is a lot of points to play for to get into better positions, but we have to pull up our socks.”

Gicumbi FC’s remaining five fixtures include matches against Sunrise FC (home) on May 6, Mukura VS (away) on May 20, Musanze FC (home) on May 27, Kirehe FC (away) on June 17 before winding up the season with a home clash against bottom side Pepiniere FC on June 25.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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