Uganda Cranes coach Johnathan McKinstry described the group in which his team was pooled for the 2020 Africa Nations Championship (Chan) tournament, as a pan-African one.
The Cranes were drawn in group ‘C’ alongside Morocco (from North Africa), Togo (from West Africa) and fellow East Africans, Rwanda. Chan, which features only home-based players, is scheduled for April 5-25 in Cameroon. The Cranes will start residential camp preps on March 2.
According to McKinstry, group ‘C’ is widely spread out, pitting together varied playing styles. And as such, he noted, The Cranes will prepare accordingly to counter the different approaches of their opponents.
McKinstry stated: “Of course many people will say that Rwanda, being our close-door neighbours, do not need so much homework, because we know how they play. But because we know each other so well, the tie will be very competitive.”
Yet, McKinstry added, because the Amavubi Stars will be Uganda’s first game in Cameroon, it is crucial they pick maximum points.
He explained: “Because our target is a quarter-final berth at least, something we have not achieved before, we must win our first game.”
That said, McKinstry is not oblivious of the tough challenge that awaits his charges, considering they have Morocco, the defending champions in the same group. McKinstry said Uganda must counter their crisp and quick passing game, which most Arab teams espouse.
In addition, Togo, because of their West African orientation, play a fast and physical game. And it is for that reason, that McKinstry wants thorough preparations for his team by playing as many friendlies.