Uganda Cranes head coach Johnathan McKinstry stays persuaded that his group can in any case meet all requirements for the quarter-finals of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) even after Friday’s stun loss to Togo.
Defender Paul Mbowa scored in his own net, with Saidi Kyeyune reestablishing equality for the Cranes with a shocking long-range exertion however Yendoutie Nane delivered a commendable goal to hand his group a 2-1 triumph.
The win was the first for Togo who are playing in their first CHAN competition since the title was initiated back in 2009, while it broadened Uganda’s winless altercation the competition finals to 10 games.
That piles up quite awful against the Cranes who have slammed out from the group stages in each of their last four appearances at CHAN.
In any case, McKinstry demands that there is no compelling reason to freeze, and that his side can in any case get the necessary outcome against defending champions Morocco and progress to the quarter-finals.
“Our target at the start was to go as deep into the tournament,” McKinstry told media after the game before adding; “And our target at this exact moment is to still go deep into the tournament.”
“If we can reproduce the display tonight especially in the second half and add a little bit more quality in terms of finding the finishing touch, we can get the result against Morocco.”
“So, if that happens, we will be in the quarter-finals and we will be aiming for even better,” he explained.
The Irishman also believes that he can trust his largely inexperienced squad to go ahead and achieve the objective even with the odds stuck up against them.
According to the 35-year-old, the team does not have time to sulk, but advised that they should keep their heads high and carry the confidence that they can upset the defending champions.
“People are disappointed now; everyone is after the loss, but we know we have to keep our heads high and know that we have the quality to go and cause Morocco problems.”
“Ultimately, the players who are here this year are completely new. I think we have three players who were here for the tournament two years ago, so it’s a very different team,” he said.
McKinstry knows it will be as tough against Morocco who lead Group C with four points, ahead of Togo, Rwanda on three and two points respectively and Uganda with one.
Uganda faces the defending champions in their final group game at the Stade de la Reunification in Douala on January 26, and will need victory if they are to stand a chance of progress.
Togo on the other hand play against Rwanda in their final group game on Tuesday, January 26, in Limbe.