By Allan Damba
Uganda Cranes interim head coach Abdallah Mubiru has expressed his worry at the inevitable hurdles that come with transiting from a generation to another.
Mubiru has the task of overseeing a successful turn from a team that relatively achieved to another whose expectations are higher than ever.
The previous generation ensured Uganda makes the AFCON finals in 2017 after 40 years., they repeated the feat two years later progressing to the last eight.
However, they fell short of qualifying to the 2021 Cameroon AFCON finals at the hands of a 1-0 Malawi defeat suggesting climax and need for a rebuild.
Speaking to FUFA’S official website, Mubiru highlighted the team has to undergo a wave of transition and as well prepare for the possible challenges involved.
“It is not easy to come in and replace a successful person. The transition is not going to be easy because the previous team beat their target that was qualifying for the AFCON. They did it on two occasions making them successful in that aspect,” Mubiru said.
“We are trying to create a new team that will not just qualify for the AFCON but also win it and qualify for the world cup as well,” he added.
He also stressed the need for building on the U20 team success that played the 2021 U20 AFCON finals in Mauritania with Ghana, losing 2-0.
“We are not just building a team but also putting in mind the success that the country achieved during the U20 AFCON where the boys went up to the final. We can not take that for granted. We can build from that success for better results that is our target.”
The 45-year-old also defended his squad selection ahead of June’s encounter with South Africa saying the team’s style of play was key to the tough decisions.
“There are so many fans who feel some players were neglected, but that is their feeling. Everyone has a choice. It’s not true that every player on the form gets to be called to the national team,” Mubiru stated.
“I have always tried to explain this; we assemble players to what the coaches think the team should look like, so we try to get players who will bring out that picture.”
To respond to more uproar, this time towards the captaincy decision, Mubiru backed Emmanuel Okwi as the best choice there was.
“We appointed him as the captain of Uganda Cranes based on experience, discipline and (being) a role model. Okwi is committed and always a winner.”
“He will always try to do anything possible to make sure the team wins. He is also down to earth and relates well with the young and older players,” he explained.
Mubiru’s team will enter residential camp on Monday, May 31, at the Cranes Paradise hotel before they depart for the friendly due June 10, in Johannesburg.