Uganda Cranes interim coach Abdallah Mubiru has admitted that it’s time for local coaches to manage the national.
Mubiru noted that they are only judged by their weaknesses especially by the Ugandan fans who have a wrong perception about them.
“The general perception of our Ugandan fans is that they think it’s abnormal for a local coach to manage the national team which I think is a wrong. Probably the chance has now come for them to realize that local coaches can also manage the team. Mubiru stated.
“I can’t say say am the best, I think there are good coaches out there but the most important element is about the local coaches managing the national team so we have all the confidence, me and my team.
“We have a big task ahead of us to convince the fans that we are capable of doing the job.
“It’s not about Mubiru, Mbabazi (Livingstone) or Fred (Kajoba) but it is about all the local coaches because we can compete very well in the other areas because we have our strength. We could be having limitations which is normal but the only problem is people judge us by the limitations, they never judge us by our strength. But there are some moments you feel you can go to a good job but your interest is to protect your job, now we have to protect our job at the same time protecting our nation.”
The Cranes have been managed by a number of Ugandan-born coaches before including Robert Kiberu, David Otti, Peter Okee, Bidandi Sali, George Mukasa, Bernabas Mwesige, Polly Ouma, Timothy Ayieko, Paul Hasule, Leo Adraa, Mike Mutebi and Moses Basena.
Mubiru who is acting as the interim coach after head coach Jonathan McKinstry was suspended highlighted on the preparations of the players ahead of the crucial games.
“We are going to start preparations tomorrow (Thursday) but those are preparations on the pitch. Preparations in terms of psychology started about one and half weeks ago.
“I have been communicating with the players and getting their views as well. We already started preparations but only waiting for the ones on the pitch when all the players are around and that will be on Saturday and Sunday then Monday where we shall have technical sessions.”
Speaking about the games ahead, Mubiru admits that the Malawi game is the most important one.
“Actually all the games are vital but the most crucial one is against Malawi. Even if we beat Burkina Faso, then Malawi beats South Sudan, then we will have to at least get a point in Malawi to be able to qualify.
“Under all circumstances the game in Malawi is crucial and important however there is a possibility of sealing qualification on Wednesday against Burkina Faso.
“We are going to handle all games with alot of care but we need to get results in all game.”
Uganda Cranes will play host to Burkina Faso on Wednesday 24th March at St Mary’s Katende stadium before traveling to Malawi on Monday 29th March.
“It’s not an easy game against Burkina Faso. We played against them, they were very competitive and they really challenge us.
“We are looking for that spirit we’ve always had when playing home in Namboole. I think that spirit lacked when we were playing in Kitende. We didn’t show the spirit we always showed when playing in Namboole so something was lacking but we have been getting some ideas from the players and we are going to work on that in training.
“We must maintain character at home, a win at home will motivate us to go and get a point in Malawi away so this win is very crucial as it’s the one pushing us into the other game and we are going to work very hard to make sure that we get it.
Mubiru also confirmed that striker Uche Mubiru will not join other players at the camp since he has some other issues to sort out.
“Unfortunately, Mubiru (Uche) requested us to step aside because he’s not going to join us. He has some issues to sort so he is not joining the camp.
“It’s a very crucial moment for us in terms of management of players to keep that spirit high because at the moment we need to understand that we need all these guys to help the team quality because there has been that spirit in them that we need to maintain.”
On whether new members are needed in the team Mubiru says;
“I don’t think now is the time for us to think of bringing in new members as it is also very important.
“I am sure that after AFCON probably some players will retire from international football. “All those members are still very important to the team and I don’t want us to talk about transformation and building a new team as at the moment, we must look at maintaining our team and reaching AFCON. After that, then certain things will work themselves out.
The team that was summoned
Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Jamal Salim (Al Hilal, Sudan), Charles Lukwago(KCCA FC-Uganda), Kigonya Mathias ( Azam FC- Tanzania)
Mugabi Bevis (Motherwell FC- Scotland), Kizza Mustapha (DC Montreal- USA), Ronald Mukiibi(Ostersunds FK, Sweden), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Timothy Denis Awany (Sport Club Ironi, Ashdod, Israel), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, Democratic Republic of Congo), Lwaliwa Halid (Vipers SC-Uganda), Elvis Bwomono (Southend United, England), Juuko Murushid (Express FC-Uganda), Kizito Mugweri Gavin (SC Villa- Uganda).
Miya Faruku (Konyaspor- Turkey), Kizito Luwagga (Hapoel Kfar Saba- Israel), Waiswa Moses (SupersportUnited-South Africa), Lwanga Taddeo (Simba SC- Tanzania), Michael Azira (New Mexico United-, USA),Khalid Aucho (Misr Lel Makasa, Egypt), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt), Allan Okello (Paradou,Algeria), Lumala Abdu (Pyramids FC- Egypt), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers SC-Uganda), Orit Ibrahim (Vipers SC-Uganda).
Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Ittihad Alexandria, Egypt), Fahad Bayo (Sport Club Ironi Ashdod, Israel), KadduPatrick (Youssoufia Berrechid-Tunisia), Uche Mubiru Ikpeazu (Wycombe Wanderers, England), Sentamu Yunus (Vipers SC-Uganda), Isiagi Daniel (Jomo Cosmos-South Africa).