New Harambee Stars Coach Engin Firat at a press conference in Nairobi. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Harambee Stars coach Firat has owned his mistakes and apologized to Kenyans for the 5-0 defeat to Mali on Thursday.

Speaking ahead of the return leg against Group ‘E’ leaders Mali to be played on Sunday, Firat said he is the one to blame and not players

“I want to apologize for the heavy defeat against Mali. It was a very tough start and am glad I have the backing of the whole team despite the defeat.”

“I got very important lessons. All the things which I did not know about the team I got it in a very hard way back. There is no excuse because it is my fault. If you want to blame anyone am here, it is my mistake. I won’t hide. I got my lessons,” said the Turkish tactician.

Firat proceeded to promise a positive outcome today during the return leg with Mali with key changes expected to be made in the lineup.

“Like I said, I don’t do mistakes two times. We have made our own analysis and talked to the players and for sure I promise you will see a very different team against Mali here at home.”

“The negative result is now behind us and we are looking forward to the match. And Yes, we are going to have some changes in the line ups,” said Firat.

Mali lead the group on seven points, followed by Uganda Cranes on five points. Kenya are third with two points as Rwanda bottom with a point.

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