LIKE most modern football managers, George Nsimbe does appreciate the value of a good football psychologist.
Not that he would necessarily consult one himself, but probably for his own KCC FC team in solving their mental fortitude ahead of a fixture against Express FC that the champions have never won since 2002.
The Lugogo-based side registered a double over the Red Eagles in the 2002 season (1-0 in the first round and 2-1 in the second) but has since fallen short in their last ten meetings - a worrying statistic KCC must end to preserve both pride and their title credentials.
â€œWe must win. That canâ€™t continue. We will do everything to put it to an end and the mentality of the players will have to be different to achieve that,â€ Nsimbe asserted.
Clashes between the two traditional giants have never been short on nerve and drama, and this fixture could prove no exception.
In fact, form book has often counted for less in such fixtures, which means Expressâ€™ ninth position on the table could still prove deceptive.
However, beneath the fervent exhibition of smouldering passion expected in the biggest game of the day will be a fierce struggle for tactical superiority in the game involving Cranesâ€™ assistant coaches Sam Ssimbwa (Simba) and Jackson Mayanja (Bunamwaya).
The two youthful managers just as well know that their engagement in Bombo possesses the hallmarks of a stern inquisition into their season goals.
But for legendary reasons, the KCC-Express duel will still attract most attention, with the yellow brigade and not the red in desperate need for maximum points from the game to steady their title hunt.
Their previous title-winning season notwithstanding, KCC had over the years earned the dubious reputation of all-potential but no-achievement.
Nsimbe, still under scrutiny at the club, hopes to continue shedding that tag, though his counterpart at Wankulukuku, David Otti, will equally make the fixture aware that nothing but victory for prideâ€™s sake will do.
To match their ambitions, teams more often than not need a strong spine running from defence through midfield into attack. The two sides are excellently served in each department; though the Red Eagles seem to be undermined by the diminutive nature of their key players.
Sulaiman Jingo, Francis Jjemba and Daniel Sserunkuuma are such a talent but there are restricted circles within which stunted players can operate.
Nsimbe could build on the inside knowledge of former Express stars Omar Hitmana and Godfrey Kavulu. Patrick Senfuka returns from suspension while Robert Tumusiime will replace suspended defender Asuman Buyinza.
Past head to head fixtures
2000: Express 3 KCC 2
Express 0 KCC 2
2001: Express 3 KCC 1
Express 2 KCC 2
2002: Express 0 KCC 1
Express 1 KCC 2
2003: Express 1 KCC 0
Express 3 KCC 1
2004: Express 0 KCC 0
Express 5 KCC 3
2005: No league
2006: Express 0 KCC 0
Express 1 KCC 1
2007: Express 1 KCC 1
Express 1 KCC 0
2007/8: Express 1 KCC 0
Express 0 KCC 0
George Nsimbe faces Express jinx