New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Micho Confident of Cranes' Chances

MICHO Sredojevic has drawn a comprehensive strategy that -if followed -should inspire Uganda into the knockout stages of the Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) tournament.

"If we implement the plan I have, I believe, with due respect to the opposition, the Cranes will make the knock out stages," Micho told New Vision yesterday, minutes after Uganda was drawn in a competitive Group B that also includes Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Morocco.

According to the Serbian tactician, the strategy will take into account the 'strengths and weaknesses' of each of Uganda's group opponents as well as ensure a perfect fitness regime for his players ahead of the championships due in South Africa next year.

"The group is full of quality opposition."

On Zimbabwe

"Zimbabwe will feel at home in South Africa because a majority of the players move there for professional football and their current coach has managed in South Africa before. A number of their homebased players will want to impress."

On Burkina Faso

"The senior team made it to the 2013 Africa Nations Cup finals and the homebased team will want to emulate that. They are an improving side."

On Morocco

"They are hosting the 2015 Africa Nations Cup tournament and will look at this tournament as a platform to assess players that will strengthen the senior team. They have a good side too."

Sixteen teams were drawn into four groups of four teams each and will play each other in a round-robin basis. The top two in each group will qualify for the knock-out stages.

Hosts South Africa qualified automatically for the tournament that should present Uganda with an opportunity of making up for their disastrous outing in the 2011 edition.

Back then, hosts Sudan and North African giants Algeria conspired with Gabon to deny Cranes a single win in Group B.

The only positive from the draw for the continental tournament (CHAN) designed exclusively for footballers playing in respective domestic leagues, is that Cranes will be familiar with the Moroccan team having beaten them 1-0 in the LG Cup tournament in 2011.

Uganda will be based in Cape Town and will play all their group games at the Athlone Stadium.

"If all goes well, we will have three friendly games before the CECAFA tournament to identify the best possible team for the tournament," Micho added.

South Africa battle Mozambique in the opening match of the three-week tournament that takes place from January 11 to February 1.

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