The former Tusker tactician pleads for patience from the fans after making a surprise return to handle the national team
New Harambee Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee has assured Kenyans he still has the Mojo to take the team to the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup finals after he was unveiled on Wednesday.
The 52-year-old tactician was handed the mantle to handle the team on a three-year contract following the exit of Francis Kimanzi, whom the Federation claims they parted with on mutual agreement on Tuesday.
Speaking exclusively to Goal after being unveiled on Wednesday, ‘Ghost’ who is well remembered to have steered Kenya to the 2004 Afcon finals held in Tunis, Tunisia, says he is ready to take up the challenge and believes he still has what it takes to succeed with the team.
“First of all, I want to thank the federation for again having faith that I can steer the team to the Afcon and World Cup,” Mulee told Goal. “We had a very lengthy discussion as to what the ambition of the federation is after the election and after seeing the working conditions are favourable, I said that I can give it a try.
“I know it is a good thing to handle a national team but at the same time a difficult task because we have two tough games coming up against Comoros, they are two very important games for Kenya, however, I believe that with the team that I saw against Zambia, the team that has played the first two qualifiers, there is a big possibility that we have a squad to take us to the Afcon.
“My focus now is on how to deal with Comoros, it is those matches that we always refer to as dead rubbers. So it is a difficult match but I think if we can manage to win the first game at home, then we will be good to go.”
Asked whether he still has what it takes having been out of the coaching scene for more than five years, ‘Ghost’ told Goal: “I have been in the game since the last time I coached the team, for now, I cannot promise anything, a coaching job is difficult, you can have it today, play one game and get fired.
“But looking at the team in my disposal, I have confidence they will do well under my leadership, the office has promised us the support, and I know that we can do well, all we need to do is win our home matches.”
On whether he will make changes to the squad, ‘Ghost’ said: “As we speak now, my mind is already in the Comoros double-header and any good coach cannot change a winning team, they just beat Zambia a few days ago, I will stick with the team which played against Zambia.”
‘Ghost’, who has also handled Tusker in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), also confirmed he will name his technical bench in the next two days.
“I will have the names out in the next two days, I know the people I can work with but I need a few things sorted out to give out the names.”
Kenya started their campaign in the Afcon qualifiers with a 1-1 draw against Egypt away in Cairo before forcing another 1-1 draw, then against Togo at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.