Afcon 2024: Micho urges Ugandans to believe in Cranes

Afcon 2024: Micho urges Ugandans to believe in Cranes

Written by URN

Written by URN

Micho during training

Micho during training

Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin Sredojevic Micho has urged all supporters to stand firmly behind the national team as they prepare to face Algeria in a crucial African Cup of Nations qualifying match today Sunday. 

Micho made the plea while speaking to journalists at a pre-match press conference in Doula, Cameroon as the Cranes gear up to host the Desert Warriors in what is expected to be a tough challenge for the Cranes tonight.

Micho stated that “Once again, we are looking forward to believing in our players, believing that there is that holy case inside their hearts, that stretches them overall, pushing them to give us the performance and the results that we are dreaming about,”  

Micho said he has faith in the players and believes that with the support from all Ugandans, they will put up a great performance to get the results that can “put our dreams together.”

Uganda once again finds herself hosting her home game away from home due to the absence of a standard stadium to host CAF and FIFA-recognized matches. Subsequently, the Ugandan FA appealed to their colleagues in Cameroon to bail them out with Japoma Stadium where the clash will take place.

Micho who guided Cranes back to Afcon in 2016 after spending nearly 40 years without achieving the feat finds himself once again in a do-or-die affair where they must win to brighten their hopes of returning to the continental showpiece.

They face the Algerians who have already secured their slot for the continental showpiece that will come next year. The burden of qualification, therefore, rests solely on the Cranes’ shoulders, compelling them to unleash their full potential and seize victory from the formidable African giants.  

Micho whose style of play prioritizes defending at the expense of attacking which has failed to captivate the Ugandan football fraternity must rectify the shortcomings that plagued the Afcon qualifying campaign, where the Cranes obtained only four points from four games.  

But, as they focus on their upcoming clash with Algeria, the Cranes will also hope that their main rival, Tanzania, who faces Niger that is at the bottom of the group, does not achieve significantly better results that could jeopardize Uganda’s aspirations.  

In their most recent warm-up match last week, the Uganda Cranes suffered a 1-0 defeat against DR Congo. However, Micho believes that this game served as a valuable learning experience, highlighting areas that needed improvement before the highly anticipated encounter with Algeria.

Micho told journalists that while they have much respect for Algeria, being one of the highest-ranked teams on the continent, this is a historical match for the Cranes as they carry the dreams of over 50 million Ugandans, compelling them to exert every effort in order to transform those dreams into reality.  

Echoing Micho’s sentiments, team captain Emmanuel Okwi acknowledged the magnitude of the task that lies ahead – achieving positive results against Algeria. However, he remains confident that they possess the necessary tactics to thrive in this encounter.  

Group F standings 

• Algeria – 12 points Qualified already 
• Tanzania 4 points 
• Uganda 4 points 
• Niger 2 points  

Culled from The Observer.

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