The 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) gets underway this week on Saturday, January 16 but the Uganda Cranes do not play until on Monday, January 18 and head coach Johnathan McKinstry is desperate to get the tournament underway.
Uganda who have had three preparation stages will wind up their preps on Wednesday in Douala, Cameroon before they’re officially welcomed for the tournament in the same city.
“We are in stage three of our preparations. Phase one was back in Kampala while stage two covered the Pre- CHAN Mini Tournament,” McKinstry told FUFA media.
“We have been here in Douala for a while now and we shall continue with our private training camp until we get to action. It is just an opportunity for us to fine tune the team.”
“We are looking at opportunities to add one percent here or two percent there. There is no major thing we want to change at this stage.”
“The countdown is on and the boys are in good spirits. It is about adding those finer details so that we are fully prepared, otherwise we are good to go,” he added.
McKinstry and his charges will be hoping to break the jinx and go past the group stages of the tournament, a feat they have not achieved on four previous occasions.
A good show shown at the pre-CHAN mini tournament where they were unbeaten winning two games and drawing the other, gave McKinstry’s side huge belief before the actual competition given the kind of opponents they faced.
They came from a goal down to draw 1-1 against hosts Cameroon with a man down for almost the entire game after striker Ben Ocen was sent off in the 12 minute, before beating Zambia and Niger 2-0 and 3-0 respectively.
Uganda are pitted in Group C with neighbours Rwanda, title holders Morocco and West African side Togo.
McKinstry will lead Uganda against his former coached side Rwanda on Monday in both side’s tournament opener.