Why McKinstry wants Uganda changes after slim Afcon qualifier win vs South Sudan

The Cranes struggled against the Bright Stars who were undone by a late goal that was scored by Vipers SC’s Halid Lwaliwa

Uganda head coach Johnathan McKinstry has hinted he may deploy a different set of players in the second African Cup of Nations qualifiers against South Sudan in Nairobi.

After sweating to produce a 1-0 win on Thursday at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende, McKinstry has now revealed he may consider having new players against Bright Stars on November 16.

The need to have new players will be partly necessitated by injuries to Khalid Aucho and Ronald Mukiibi. Azam FC’s Nicholas Wadada is also expected to start at the expense of Southend United’s Elvis Bwomono, who debuted against South Sudan.

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“We are likely to make changes in the second game because energy levels are important,” McKinstry told Sports Nation.

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“You saw players had to leave everything on the field and so yes a number of new players are going to start the second game because we need fresh legs.

“We expect another tough encounter which is going to take another 90 minutes of intensity to get the results we want.

“Everyone knows the status of the group and our number one priority is to maintain our top position in the group after South Sudan games as we said.”

Uganda are now second in Group B after picking up a second win but McKinstry is not moved by the fact they are close to sealing an Afcon slot yet.

“We have taken our first step toward that which can put us in a great position though we cannot control what goes on from other places,” he concluded.

“So, it might be enough to confirm qualifications or not, but regardless of the overall outcomes we want to finish in the number one position.”

In a separate interview, the former Rwanda head coach had defended his players despite struggling to see off the northern neighbours.

“Because not every day your performance is 10 out of 10, but even if it’s below par a little bit, you need to find a way to win,” McKinstry said.

“I am really not going to criticise anyone for the work rate because I think all the players put a real shift in there and they stayed calm until the perfect moment happened and we won the game.”

South Sudan, who are yet to pick up a single point in the qualifiers, will host the Cranes at Nyayo Stadium.

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