It is exactly nineteen days before The Cranes take on Ghana in a must-win 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Namboole stadium.
Four days later, Uganda will lock horns with Guinea in the decisive fixture to be played on neutral ground in Morocco. And bearing in mind the magnitude of these encounters, The Cranes technical team are leaving no stone unturned in a bid to have the ideal preparations. That is why The Cranes will be engaged in two international friendly matches against Ethiopia and Sudan on November 9 and 11 respectively.
To many observers, these friendly games couldn’t have been scheduled at a better time. In fact, following Cranes’ below-par display in their last round of qualifying games against Togo, that saw them lose 1-0 both home and away, fixtures against Ethiopia and Sudan are seen as an opportunity for Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic to work out some new tactical approaches.
Firstly, Micho is expected to work out a strategy that will ensure that The Cranes can score goals. The lack of a clinical element amongst Cranes strikers against Togo especially in the second leg was one of the team’s major undoing. Micho pointed out in his post-match comments in Togo that his forwards had to show more composure in front of goal in order to execute. He emphasized that in top-level football, opponents’ defences will rarely give you a look-in on their goal.
“So, unless you are fast and efficient to finish off the few chances you get, you will always end up at a loss,” Micho said then.
According to Micho, these ties will enable him review his players’ technical state before the big games. “Training alone isn’t enough because I never get to see the foreign-based players a lot in action, and let alone get thorough reviews from their club coaches to know what physical condition they are in,” Micho explained.
Notably, Micho and his back-room staff have been under a lot of pressure on their selection of strikers in past games. The general consensus has been calling for Sserunkuma and Yunus Sentamu to start games because of their recent club form.
Interestingly, friendly games against Seychelles, Malawi and Niger preceded Uganda’s positive results against Mauritania and Ghana.
November 9, 4pm
Uganda v Ethiopia, Namboole
Uganda v Sudan, Namboole