New Uganda Cranes coach Jonathan Mckinstry has claimed that their 2021 AFCON Qualifiers opener against Burkina Faso on the road is the hardest of all the six encounters for the team.
Uganda visit Burkina Faso on November 13 before hosting Malawi four days later, in AFCON qualifying campaign this year.
Mckinstry, speaking to the press at FUFA house on Wednesday in Mengo, noted that his main priority is to take the Cranes back to AFCON.
On their road to Cameroon, Uganda Cranes are in Pool B alongside Burkina Faso, Malawi and South Sudan with the top two teams advance to the finals.
“I have been here for a short time, but we have gathered more information about our opponents. We start with the most difficult game of all six and that is against Burkina Faso away,” said Mckinstry.
“Burkina has a good record. They have one of the best home records in Africa. They last lost a home game in 2012. Though they didn’t qualify for AFCON in Egypt but they took maximum points at home.
“Also, we will not take Malawi for granted. They drew with us 0-0 in friendly. They will come here with nothing to lose and will not be an easy team, another difficult game as well.”
FUFA confirmed that they will fund a chartered plane to enable the Cranes move to Burkina Faso and bring back the team in time for the next game against Malawi.
Speaking about this new development, Mckinstry added:
“It’s a great system as one of the problems facing African teams in such campaigns is travels. This move is great though it doesn’t guarantee success but it will smoothen the running of our business.”
Mckinstry is expected to name his squad on Wednesday – When asked on whether his team will have local based players, the Northern Irishman commented;
“If I feel that am best served with foreign based, then I will go with that but what I can ensure you is that it will contain several local based players.
“Do they suit my style of play? Yes, their work ethic, ability to listen is top and they are my type of players. However, picking a national team is like a jigsaw puzzle, its not about talent, but ability of those players to compete as a team.”
The Uganda Cranes 2021 AFCON Qualifiers campaign;
*November 13, 2019: Burkina Faso Vs Uganda Cranes – Stade du Aout, Ouagadougou
*November 17, 2019: Uganda Cranes Vs Malawi – Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
*August 31, 2020: Uganda Cranes Vs South Sudan – Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
*September 8, 2020: South Sudan Vs Uganda Cranes
*October 5, 2020: Uganda Cranes Vs Burkina Faso – Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
*November 9, 2020: Malawi Vs Uganda – Bingu National Stadium, Lilongwe