The Observer (Kampala)

12 February 2013

Uganda: URA Ailing Ahead of Coton Sport Clash

Just days before the Taxmen travel to Cameroon to face Coton Sport in the Caf Champions League preliminary round, the team is out of sorts and will need a miracle to get a positive result in the first leg, writes John Vianney Nsimbe.

In the eighth minute of URA FC's clash with Sports Club Victoria University (SCVU) last Friday at Namboole stadium in the Fufa Super League, they went 1-0 down. A goal by their former Captain Manco Kaweesa was enough to make it five successive games without a win. With this kind of bad run of results, URA, who face Cameroon's Coton Sport in the Caf Champions League this weekend have their work cut out.

It will therefore be a massive surprise if they get a good result there to keep them in the running when the second leg comes around. Paul Nkata was recently hired as URA coach to replace Alex Isabirye, who had lost control of his dressing room before he quit. This was in the hope that the national under-20 head coach would change the tide for the Bell Uganda Cup 2012 winners.

By his arrival, URA had won only six of fifteen league games. And on his début match in-charge of URA last Friday, Nkata's charges continued their bad run, although it is difficult to blame him. Nkata has been in-charge for less than a month and indeed there is little he can change over a short period of time, he says. "I need time to change things around. But I believe this team can do well," Nkata reasoned.

However, in as far as the Caf game is concerned, Nkata thinks it might have come too soon although he realises that there is a need for the whole team to pull together and ensure that they can secure a respectable result away. It is rather difficult to expect that this time, URA will do better than they did last time round. They have so many short-comings.

First of all, the team is struggling for form and even their fitness levels don't seem to be up there. In addition to that, the departure of striker Robert Ssentongo has left the tax-men short in attack. Ssentongo's supposed replacements, Benson Ociti and Erisa Sekisambu aren't showing the kind of sharpness expected at this level.

That said, the team is short on creativity too. The midfielders: Owen Kasule, Saidi Kyeyune, Moses Feni, Elukana Nkugwa and Augustine Nsumba aren't playing with the kind of verve and spark required to pull their team out of this ditch.

In a nutshell, URA aren't looking the domineering team they were for much of last year thus go onto the continent in the worst of shapes.

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