‘Everyone one is focused, determined’ – McKinstry assesses Uganda’s Chan preparedness

Uganda Cranes head coach Johnathan McKinstry.
The tactician will lead the ambitious Cecafa champions in the continental tournament in January 2021 in Cameroon

Uganda head coach Johnathan McKinstry has assessed their preparedness level for the upcoming African Nations Championship tournament.

The coach further indicated none of the selected players was injured during week-long training sessions and that makes him even more optimistic.

“We have been in camp for a week and the players have pushed really hard,” the former Rwanda tactician told Sports Nation.

“It is very clear that everyone is focused and determined, they want their ticket to go to Cameroon and to represent Uganda; you can see that in terms of enthusiasm, energy, in terms of learning in the classroom and the field.

“We came through the week well without injuries, just one or two knocks and nothing serious.”

The Cranes will be part of a mini-tournament that will involve Cameroon, Zambia and Niger ahead of the continental competition and McKinstry has explained the importance of having that experience of local conditions.

“We think it is very good, players will get time to acclimatise in Cameroon. We are now looking forward, get to Cameroon and start playing,” he added.

The Northern Irish tactician also explained the technical difference between teams at Chan and how Uganda can mount a successful campaign in West Africa.

“We have said ever since I came that we need to have that attitude of why not us, especially in the Chan tourney,” he stated.

“You look at nations like Libya and DR Congo who have won the tournament before, even when I took Rwanda in 2016, it was only an extra-time goal against DR Congo that eliminated us at quarter-finals.

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“So, the difference between the teams are not so great at Chan, and really for us if we get confident and we perform at our best, we have the potential to go deep in the tournament.

“This is the challenge for the players; ‘why not us? why can’t we be there the last weekend?’ It is about being confident, it is about being ambitious and it is about putting the work ethic to make sure that that we are still there come February 7th.”

The mini-tournament will be played between January 1 and 7 and McKinstry selected 25 players for the competition.