Micho's Job Safe for Now - Magogo

Uganda Cranes coach Micho

FOOTBALL Micho's Job Safe for Now - Magogo

Shafic Kiyaga 13:01 - 30.03.2023

FUFA president Moses Magogo on Thursday made it clear that the Serbian retains the support of the federation despite full blown criticism of the Cranes and recent underwhelming results.

Uganda Cranes’ chances of qualifying for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) may be iffy, but Uganda’s football governing body, FUFA is not planning on making coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic the scapegoat.

FUFA president Moses Magogo on Thursday made it clear that the Serbian retains the support of the federation despite full blown criticism of the Cranes and recent underwhelming results.

Reports were rife that FUFA was willing to terminate Micho’s contract which still has 15 months before it expires, especially following the 1-0 defeat to Tanzania in Ismailia last Friday.

But Rogers Mato’s 93rd minute strike seemed to have bought the 53-year-old more time with a 1-0 victory over the Taifa Stars on Tuesday this week.

Magogo confirmed that while the results had been ‘disappointing by all standards’, FUFA has no intentions of letting Micho go at least until the end of the current qualification campaign.

“We must give Micho more time,” Magogo told a press conference at the FUFA House in Mengo, adding; “Let us allow him conclude this campaign and then we discuss him at the end of the campaign.”

“It is going to get very embarrassing when we start discussing a campaign and eventually the team qualifies (for AFCON).”

“We are aware that as a federation, the team may not be posting the best of results to the satisfaction of everybody, however we expected this.”

“We are going through a transition and when you undergo a transition, you’re going to get some uncomfortable results, and we may even have tough spells.”

Dyke said deep-rooted problems in English soccer would make it tough for the national team to repeat their sole World Cup success on home soil in 1966.

Magogo said an intended transition was only going to cause more heart breaks, but called for intellectualism rather than working on emotions which may derail the process.

“And I do not know where we (Ugandans) got the liberty to think that we must always be winning, I think of that as ridiculous to think of ourselves like that,” he said.

“We cannot go from one peak to the other, its not possible you have to overcome a slump before you return to the peak.”

“We must not do things by emotions because you can make terrible calls. So, let us support everyone who is doing a job for the Cranes especially the coaches and players.”

“So, our team that took us to AFCON 2017, and the football we played at AFCON 2019 in Egypt, it will take us time to see that happen again,” he mentioned.

The Cranes have however been frustrating under an intended rebuild of the team under Micho – whose only trophy with the Cranes remains the CECAFA title in 2015.

Several poor and unconvincing performances from the Cranes have seen dissenting voices raise, with the national team losing more and more appeal and popularity.

“Our instruction to these coaches is that make sure this transition works, and statistics may back up what we are trying to achieve especially with the transition,” Magogo stated.

“And whereas the result may not be as good as we want, there is some progress from where we are sitting,” he explained.

Despite a 2-1 defeat to Ethiopia to start his tenure, Micho was able to garner a bit of optimism early on as Uganda picked up nine points from five games in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying Group E.

But defeat to Mali in November 2021, started a dismal run of only five victories from 20 games including friendlies.

The Serbian, who helped the Cranes end a 39-year wait for AFCON qualification during his first tenure in 2017, was reappointed in July 2021, after Johnathan McKinstry was sacked.

Micho has won only 27% of his games in charge, which represents seven victories from 28 games. There have also been 10 draws and nine defeat.

The stats are dwarfed when compared to his 47.1% win rate from 68 games during his first stint, and the 66.67% win rate by McKinstry who was in charge of 18 games.

The Cranes are joint second with Tanzania on four points in Group F of the ongoing AFCON Qualifiers.

With Algeria already sealing qualification from the group, the two nations will scrap for the remaining slot.

Uganda’s remaining qualifiers see them host Algeria before they visit Niger, while Tanzania hosts Niger and will conclude their qualification campaign against Algeria when the qualifiers resume in June and September.