Milutin Sredojevic says he takes “complete responsibility” for Uganda Crane’s failure to retain the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup trophy, but is confident his team can turn around their fortunes over.
The Cranes, who have won the regional trophy a record 13 times, were last Saturday knocked out at the quarterfinal stage on this year’s edition by Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Stars 3-2 on penalties after the two teams had tied 2-2.
“I take complete responsibility for the results, fortunately they’ve been good in the CECAFA tourney but not in this time around so I take responsibility for them as well and I would like them to be much better, and I’ve got no doubt they will,” said Micho.
The coach said although he remains pleased with the team’s performance at the event, as the overall pilot of the ‘plane’ he is to blame because he knows expectations were very high for Ugandans.
“The players aren’t happy because they’re used to winning and when they don’t win, that hurts them.
Micho reasoned that 80 percent of his team members are youthful and some were having their first go at a tournament of such a magnitude.
“In football you need to learn to take risks sometimes in the name of building the foundation,” said the coach.
“I would have preferred to call many of our professional players and we would have retained the trophy. But I decided that we concentrate on having a big percentage of young local-based players with focus on the 2014 Africa Nations Championships (CHAN).”
The coach explained that playing four matches in the CECAFA competition has helped him map out a strategy for the CHAN preparations and also the 2015 AFCON qualifiers which begin next year.
“I now know which players to drop and the ones to drop to make my full CHAN squad,” he added.
The Cranes, who will be making their second appearance in the CHAN competition after failing to go past the group stage in the 2011 Edition held in Khartoum, Sudan, are expected to start preparations on December 18 in Kampala.