By Sulayman Bah
Worries are beginning to pile up for Sang Ndong just sixteen days following his return to the Scorpions managerial job.
Gambia face Mauritania’s Mourabitounes next month in what’s a must-win match for either side ardent on claiming the qualification spot for Gabon 2017.
With a lot of foreign-based players at his disposal, it would appear hard to imagine of a Scorpions line up being short of experienced players, and yet, this is one of the cracks that new coach Sang Ndong has to deal with.
Already, Sang is being hit hard with injury dealt to midfield mainstay Sulayman Marreh, who is due to spend a season-long spell out on the periphery after undergoing the mandatory correction procedure.
Though options aren’t limited for his replacement, his absence would certainly deny Sang the services of a hardworking up-and-coming genius who’d been one of the squad’s most prolific amongst faltering stars.
The timing of the injury –striking just a month from the Mauritania duel – could only be a pill difficult to swallow with Mamut Saine’s recent injury problem adding up to Sang’s worries. Tijan Jaiteh’s contract being terminated leaves the former Hawk’s coach with only Kuwait-based Ebrima Sohna as the sole established giant in Gambia’s midfield.
While defenders are a thing the Gambian backline wouldn’t lack when the qualifiers resumes, the strike, that has scored only once in four matches, though remains a problem Ndong would be fixated on remedying.
Five strikers –Pa Dibba, Sosseh, Steve, Assan Ceesay and Omar Jagne – stand on the ready to be summoned but none have had much international exposure as Momodou Ceesay who’s a free agent since reportedly leaving Israeli side Maccabi Netanya.
If the orthodox rule of calling up players competing at club level is to be applied for the oncoming clash, then former MSK Zilina front-man Momodou Ceesay will be one major exclusion.
He had a dismal outing in Banjul against Namibia coupled with injury prompting his omission in the second-leg. Ceesay’s likely unavailability will leave Gambia with limited experienced attackers especially with Ousman Jallow without a club at the moment.