The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya/Uganda: Williamson Blasts Michel for Refusing to Lead Stars to Cecafa

Uganda Cranes coach Bobby Williamson has lambasted Kenyan coach Henry Michel for abdicating the responsibility of leading Harambee Stars team at the Cecafa Tusker Challenge Cup in Uganda.

Michel delegated the duty to national under-23 coach James Nandwa, who has so far done well, leading Kenya to the last eight for the first time in three years.

"This is the breeding ground for home-based players and I would have thought the coach should have come and worked with the players to know who fits in his plans and who does not," he said.

Michel has not been eager to come to the regional championships, opting instead to focus his energies on preparing another squad of local-based internationals for the African Nations Championships match against Burundi in two weeks time.

Ugandan sent ominous warning to their rivals for this year's Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, telling all and sundry that the Cranes will not relinquish the title without a fight.

The scot, who has led the Uganda to two titles in the last two years, said his team are as motivated as ever despite the disappointment of failing yet again to qualify for the African Cup of Nations. Cranes fell at the last hurdle at home to African champions, Zambia in October.

"We are as motivated as ever. Any team that is at the top of their game has to be. We are constantly under pressure to perform in whichever tournament we are playing and this is still the case. We want to hold back onto our title and will not let go easily," said Williamson.

Cranes booked their place in the last eight with a comfortable 4-0 drubbing of South Sudan, a result that left Williamson brimming with confidence ahead of their quarter-final match tomorrow against Ethiopia. "We had an all round performance with all the strikers we put out, having their names on the score sheet. It's always nice to give players the chances to shine," explained Williamson.

Striker Emmanuel Okwi who sat out the match will almost certainly be back in the starting line-up and having seen his fellow front men (Brian Umony,2), Hamisi Kiiza and Robert Sentongo knocking in the goals, the Simba striker will be keen to break his duck

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