The Cranes ended up picking up just three points from the lowly-placed Bright Stars and the retired skipper has picked reasons why that happened
Former Uganda Cranes captain Andy Mwesigwa has claimed Johnathan McKinstry erred for not starting Emmanuel Okwi against South Sudan on Monday.
McKinstry made six changes to the team that had picked a 1-0 win against Bright Stars in the home tie and trusted an attacking line-up of Allan Okello, Fahad Bayo and Luwagga Kizito in a game they ultimately lost.
“I think the coach was ill-advised to leave Okwi on the bench,” Mwesigwa said as was quoted by Sports Nation.
“You know senior players sometimes are like that, you can know that, ‘I have played bad, the day has not been mine’ but what comes in your mind is that ‘I have to prove in the next game’ and I am very sure Okwi would have had a different game in Nairobi.
Goal 50 Revealed: The best 50 players in the world
“We would be telling a different story now because we would have gotten the right results from him.”
The retired star also said Okwi was made to play in a position which is not traditionally his best place during the Thursday encounter.
“I don’t know why Okwi played as a leading striker in the first game because for years we have known him as a winger and a come-in striker,” he added.
“When you play him as a leading striker you won’t get results from him, more so against tall defenders like those of South Sudan.”
The former skipper also stated there is no need to put more pressure on young players like Okello who started in the game against South Sudan in Nairobi.
“Young players are good but when you are grooming you don’t groom at this stage, the Cranes stage is for prayers who are fit for it,” Mwesigwa concluded.
“You don’t have to put them on pressure and I think we should give players like Okello time, he is a very good talented player, the future is very bright for him but I don’t think we should start putting a player like him under pressure that we need results from him.
“Actually, Okello has to be a substitute for at least two years, then he can be a starter on the third.”
The nation’s first Group B loss saw Uganda miss an early Africa Cup of Nations qualification ticket as the Bright Stars picked up their first win.