July 5, 2022

FIFA WCQ 2022: Okello is a cue to creativity – Micho

By Brian Aheebwa
Allan Okello celebrates a goal at the 2019 CECAFA Kagame Cup in Lugogo / FUFA Image

Allan Okello’s return to the Uganda Cranes team has pleased so many Ugandan football followers, and so has it excited the Cranes coach himself, Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic.

The Paradou AC midfielder was not part of the Cranes team for the last two games, both against Rwanda in the October international window as he had to first settle in with his Algerian club after a long time caught up away in Uganda. 

Okello is expected to feature when the Cranes host neighbours Kenya at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende on Thursday, November 11 and while away to Mali in Guinea on Sunday, November 14.

Despite winning the last two games, the Cranes did not create much in the opponents’ half and have managed only two goals in the entire campaign so far.  

The lack of creativity is alarming, and Micho is well aware of the situation, and he believes that the availability of Okello is resourceful.

“Okello is very comfortable on the ball and his qualities are undoubted, but he was not playing for his club a few months back and we have moved away from such,” Micho said in a press conference held on Wednesday at FUFA house.

“But as I speak, he is a regular and one of the important players at Paradou AC that also gives us a chance to use him in the upcoming games.”

“In the last two games, we relied on Moses Waiswa who I think really played well and I know with both Okello and Shafik Kagimu all available, that gives us good options.”

“This time around, we need to score goals because it is the only way we shall achieve our target of progressing to the playoffs and it is the creative midfielders to help us feed the forwards more and more,” Micho added.

The former KCCA FC attacking midfielder has struggled to fit in well at his Algerian club and unconfirmed reports had it that he was absent from his club and that he was in the country by the time Uganda played against Rwanda.

However, the 21 year has since reported back and has been a regular selection for his side who have made an impressive start to the 2021/22 season. 

They have played three games so far, winning two and losing the other, and Okello has started in all and had brilliant display thus attracting Micho’s attention. 

Micho’s Cranes are second in Group E on eight points, two behind group leaders Mali who visit Rwanda on Matchday five of the qualifiers. 

Uganda Cranes 28-man squad

Goalkeepers: Charles Lukwago (St George, Ethiopia), Mathias Kigonya (Azam, Tanzania), Isma Watenga (Chippa United, South Africa), Joel Mutakubwa (Express, Uganda)

Defenders: Isaac Muleme (Viktoria Žižkov, Czech Republic), Abdul-Aziizi Kayondo (Vipers, Uganda), Timothy Denis Awany (FC Ashdod, Israel), Bevis Kristofer Kizito Mugabi (Motherwell, Scotland), Denis Iguma (KCCA, Uganda), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa, Uganda), Livingstone Mulondo (Vipers, Uganda), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Kenneth Semakula (SC Villa, Uganda), Geoffrey Waswa (KCCA, Uganda)

Midfielders: Khalid Aucho (Young Africans, Tanzania), Allan Okello (AC Paradou, Algeria), Moses Waiswa (SuperSport United, South Africa), Shafik Kuchi Kagimu (URA, Uganda), Julius Poloto (KCCA, Uganda), John Revita (KCCA, Uganda), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers, Uganda), Mahad Kakooza (Express, Uganda)

Forwards: Fahad Bayo (FC Ashdod, Israel), Yunus Junior Sentamu (Vipers, Uganda), Steven Desse Mukwala (URA, Uganda), Milton Karisa (Vipers, Uganda), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers, Uganda), Martin Kizza (Express, Uganda)

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