December 3, 2021

Uganda coach McKinstry ‘knows nothing about Harambee Stars’

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The 35-year-old Northern Irish tactician concedes the Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee-led charges will be a formidable opponent

Uganda coach Johnathan McKinstry has conceded he knows nothing about the Harambee Stars and their focus is on Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Kenya will face neighbours, the Cranes, in the African qualifiers for the Fifa 2022 World Cup.

The draw for the competition was held in Cairo, Egypt a couple of months ago with the two teams also being handed Mali and Rwanda in Group E.

The youthful tactician pointed out the threat expected by the Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee-led charges, but conceded he does not know a lot about the way they play.

“We know we are in the same World Cup qualifying group with Kenya and we will look at that in due course,” McKinstry told Goal.

“Currently nothing on them because it would be putting wrong priorities first. Our focus has been on [African Cup of Nations opponents] South Sudan especially in the last several months. 

“But Kenya is another huge footballing nation. I have been on African football for the last 10 years and the players Kenya have produced in the same period [are of high quality]. 

“We know when it comes to those World Cup qualifiers Kenya will be a formidable opponent. But I will be lying if I say at this moment we know much about them. Our focus has been on South Sudan.”

In the 2021 Group B Afcon qualifiers, Cranes wasted an opportunity to qualify early for the biennial competition to be held in Cameroon. After beating South Sudan by a solitary goal at Lugogo in Uganda, the team fell by the same margin in Nairobi at Nyayo Stadium in the reverse fixture,

“Ultimately we were not good enough and as a coach, I take full responsibility,” McKinstry said after seeing his team fall to the Bright Stars by a goal scored by Tito Okello.

“We planned for the game, we trained, players did their best and the coaching staff did their best to come up with the game plan.

“But I am sad for them [that we lost the game] and we have to go back and see what we have to do to give players what they need to perform [in the next game].”

The Northern Irish coach stated they will have to go and analyse the game well in preparation for their next assignment at home against Burkina Faso.

“So I have to go back and look at ourselves and see if there is something positive; the [1-0 loss] humbles all of us. 

“We took this match seriously, we prepared well, nobody can say we were casual in our approach but for whatever reasons we did not get it right, and congratulations to South Sudan for the win.”