The Kumasi-based side’s bad weekend was summed up, being subjected to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Liberty courtesy a second half striker from winger Daneil Kodie in a game where players seemed not to have turned up psychologically.
In an interview with a source that traveled with the team, allsports.com.gh has learned that the team bus was involved in an accident with a mini ‘trotro’ van just outside Kumasi, which the source admits was the fault of their team bus driver. The trotro sustained serious damages, as the whole team were held up at a nearby police station for several minutes.
The second accident, according to the source, was a close shave that was “nearly fatal,” as it involved the very same team bus driver attempting to overtake a heavy duty truck on their way from the team hotel in Accra to the Stadium, hours before the game. “The driver’s credentials have a lot of question marks. He was careless at times. Most of the players have been traumatized by these two close shaves and it showed in the way they lacked ideas in our game against Liberty,” the source said.
AllSports managed to reach coach Carlos Roberto Paulette. “It was very, very scary,” the coach revealed. “It really affected the mood in camp. All week, the players had sang and had been in good spirits during warm ups. But when we got to Accra, everyone was quiet. They seemed to have been shocked by what happened and it showed in the way they looked clueless at times. It’s sad because we had a well rehearsed planned for the game. It all just didn’t work out.”
“It will be very difficult to travel with in that very same bus and with that very same driver,” the source said. “The coach has expressed concern over the safety of his players, and is very, very skeptical about traveling in the same bus with the same driver next time we have an away game. He is very disappointed.”
King Faisal controversially lost their league opener against FC Berekum and went on to draw goalless with Heart of Lions at home last week. The loss against Liberty is their second in three games, meaning they have picked up a single point out of nine and now lie 14th on the league log going into Match Day Four.
“We didn’t look very daring and we didn’t take as many risks as we should have,” coach Paulette said at the post match press conference. “We need to improve. I’m hoping we learn our lessons from today. But psychologically speaking, we had some transport problems; we nearly had some serious accidents on our way here, and I think that must’ve affected our boys in a way.”
The coach said he is not worried about the poor start to the campaign. “For us and any other club, this is till very early; the third match day. This is the time for us to assess every area and improve. I don’t feel pressure at all – Ive been pressured all my life. I believe it’s all about being prepared, organized and committed. But I’m very disappointed today because I’ve seen them play better than this.”
The team welcomes Ashanti Gold to the Kumasi Sports Stadium on Wednesday.