How promotion hopefuls Vihiga Unitedwill deal with malaria that has hit a large chunk of its playing and technical bench unit, use its depth and cool off the pressure from fans will be key determinant to the outcome of the next fixture against Police whom they hosts at the Mumias Complex on Sunday 23 April from 3pm.
According to head coach Edward Manoah, most of his players were confirmed to have Malaria and for that reason had to call off Friday training. With recovery of the players not guaranteed by Sunday, he is considering other options.
"We returned from Nairobi only to realise most of our players are down with a common disease. They were tested at St. Mary's and it was confirmed they all have malaria. The first team availability for Sunday is not confirmed and we have now called in the rest of the players to train,"
"We could therefore have many changes in that game to arrest the situation and this will be the time to test our depth and a chance to the incoming players to prove their worth should they step in for the regulars. Test of the depth of the team will be known this weekend.," he said
The police game will be Vihiga's fifth at home. From the previous four the team has picked a win, lost once and drawn twice. Compared to away games where they have won all four games, the team has a poor home run that Manoah's explains just how it can be contained;
"There is a lot of pressure from fans in our home games and we are talking to especially the fans to spur the players on rather than pressure them. They need to push players positively and not negatively. This way we will register better results at home," added Manoah who admits the team had a slow start but are now coming up well despite fixture congestion that his team has expereinced due to a late start in the season.
Vihiga is second on the log with 17 points, just two off log leaders Wazito FC.