Former Uganda Cranes captain Andy Mwesigwa says that youngster Allan Okello should remain a National team substitute for the next two years.
Mwesigwa’s comments comes in the wake of Cranes disappointing 1-0 loss to minnows South Sudan on Monday in AFCON Qualifiers.
The former centre back, says that pressure should not be put on youngsters, including Okello, who should rather be protected.
“Young players are good but when you are grooming you don’t groom at this stage, this stage (Crane stage) is for prayers who are fit for it,” Mwesigwa told Urban TV on Tuesday.
“You don’t have to put them on pressure and I think we should give players like Allan Okello time, he is a very good talented player, the future is very bright for him but i don’t think we should start putting player like him on pressure that we need results from you.
“Actually Allan Okello has to be a substitute for at least two years, then he can be a starter on a third one.”
The Cranes senior players were at the end of criticism after the game in Kitende.
Consequently, coach Jonathan Mckinstry made six changes in his starting XI for the game at Nyayo Stadium four days later.
The changes included dropping senior members of the team like Mike Azira and Emmanuel Okwi.
“I think the coach was ill advised to leave Okwi on the bench, you know senior players sometimes are like that, you can know that i have played bad, the day has not been mine mine but what comes in your mind is that I have to prove in the next game and am very sure Okwi would have a different game in Nairobi,” Mwesigwa analysed.
“We would be telling a different story now because we would have gotten the right results from him.
“I don’t know why Okwi played as a leading striker in the first game, because for the years have known him, he was a winger and a come-in striker, and when you play him as a leading striker you wont get results from him, more so in tall defenders like those of South Sudan.
After his tactical naivety, Mckinstry, in an after match interview, admitted and took the blame for the loss.
“In such a situation where the coach comes out and say he takes the full responsibility of such results, players get the confidence because its somehow discourages them if you always put the blame on them, but the fact that he came out to take the blame, its being very professional and am very sure if they to rightful preparations for the next games,we will bounce back.
The Cranes sit second with seven points and will host Burkina Faso before a trip to Malawi in March next year.
“I am sure and confident that we will qualify but it will depend on how we are going to prepare ourselves for the these next two last games, if we collect three points out of the two games, we have qualified,” he added.
“By all means we have to quality because qualifying became our thing, what I should expect from the team is to have that style of play that will signify that this is Uganda, our identity.
“And I think if we had consistence; say in players and coaches, we would have performed better – If we had at least 70% of the squad played in Egypt, we can go up to semi finals.”