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Football Reporting


Chan 2021: Uganda knows Rwanda’s strengths ahead of derby battle – McKinstry

Uganda coach Johnathan McKinstry believes bragging rights will push his players to give their best and win against neighbours Rwanda in the African Nations Championship. 

The two nations are in Group C alongside defending champions Morocco and West African nation Togo. The youthful tactician believes the rivalry between the two teams will push his players to give their best and get a win.

“It is a big derby game to start the tournament with, Uganda and Rwanda are old rivals and that means a lot for the players,” McKinstry said ahead of their game against the Amavubi.

“For them, they know it is not only about three points and the path towards qualification to the next round, but they also know it is about local bragging rights in the region.”  

The Northern Irish football manager believes he has some kind of knowledge about his rivals that will play some part in helping Cranes get a win. However, he has insisted he will not be changing his style of play but will capitalise on his strengths to have an advantage over their rivals.

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“We feel we know where their strengths are and we are making sure we are covering up for those in the coming few training sessions,” McKinstry continued.

“It is not about doing anything new, it is about focusing on our one or two specific areas of our own style that we feel will bring a maximum advantage.  

“For me obviously, it is my first time coming up against Rwanda. My hard look at the squad and 18 out of 30 players played for me several years ago. 

“It is a very experienced squad but hopefully my knowledge of some of the players can aid Ugandan calls in getting the results that everyone back at home and everyone here is desperate for.”  

Their first assignment will be on Monday, January 18 against Rwanda. Four days later, they will be playing the defending champions Morocco before finishing up with Togo on January 26. Cranes have never made it out of the group stage of the competition. 

The tournament kicks off on Saturday, January 16. 

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