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Uganda keen to put World Cup campaign on track in Rwanda

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Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic will be returning to Kigali, this time as an opposition coach when he leads the Uganda Cranes against Rwanda’s Amavubi in their third 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying game.

The Serbian coach, nicknamed ‘Micho’ coached Rwanda between 2011 and 2013 before moving to Uganda and in his second coming to the Cranes, has a massive bout against his former employers in the road to Qatar 2022.

Uganda are third in the group with two points after alternate draws against Kenya and Mali and they will desperately need victory against the Rwandese at their backyard in Kigali to put their qualification dream in shape.

“I have respect for coach Vincent Mashami and Rwanda as a national team. I respect him as my student and I want to show that the Professor has not forgotten his teachings. The players too, of which 80% I gave the first opportunity to play at national level,” said Micho as he prepared for his team’s departure to Kigali.

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Uganda Cranes players

Micho and Mashami worked hand in hand during his tenure as the national team coach and was pat of his technical bench. They will be on opposing dugouts when they meet in the first leg on Thursday before squaring it out in the return tie in Kampala on Friday.

Coming up against a team that he knows a lot about, Micho expects a match that will be closely contested.

“I know their players. I know what they think but instead of being proud of what I know about them, I would like in the elements of theoretical awareness to present to our players points of vulnerability and sources of danger to close because a perfect team doesn’t exist,” the tactician stated.

He added; “I believe that we have what it takes to get the performance and result. We have trained well and everyone’s focus is on those three points.”

The Serbian is currently working with a set of almost new players with a number of experienced faces having quit the national team after their failure to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

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Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic

Micho has picked a lot of players from Uganda’s Under-20 team which reached the final of the U20 AFCON in Mauritania in February this year.

“The team is in transition, it has always been that the Uganda Cranes since 2005/6 had more professional players than locally based players but now we have a vice versa situation. The maturity and seniority of senior players, use of fresh blood and the desire by young players to succeed is a balanced formula that we want to use,” said the coach.

Meanwhile, Micho has handed the team’s captaincy to Khalid Aucho whom he recalled immediately he was handed over the job.

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Uganda Captain Khalid Aucho

Aucho, a former Gor Mahia and Tusker FC player currently plays in Tanzania with Yanga SC and he remains confident that the team can earn a result away from home.

“We have played many derbies and won. We are not under any pressure but we want to win the game. The players are strong and ready for the game against Rwanda. The young players in the team are like babies taking their first steps to walk. They want to prove a point and are willing to deliver for the Uganda Cranes and make the fans happy,” said the combative midfielder.

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