On Sunday evening, KCCA FC were walloped 4-1 by Algerian side, Paraou AC to ensure the 13 time Ugandan league champions were eliminated from this year’s CAF Confederation Cup.
This came exactly one month and seven days since the Kasasiro boys had been eliminated from the CAF Champions League at their own fortress in Lugogo by Angolan side, Petro Du Luanda.
A number of people have since gone on say that the Lugogo based side that has been at the helm of Ugandan football for the past three or four years has started experiencing a downward spiral.
However, the team coach, Mike Mutebi, the gaffer, as he is commonly referred to as in the football circles thinks otherwise.
“I still believe we have another chance and that is to return here and look at the league and Uganda Cup. If we can always win here, we can always go back to the continent,”Mutebi says.
“It is us who set the agenda that we were going to be there. Nobody expected this. No believed when we did it but we expect the backlash since we have failed twice. We have to come back and look at the mistakes we made and try to correct them.”
Since 2015 when Mutebi returned to the KCCA FC fold, he made a revolution that saw the club soar to greater heights that many clubs locally see the Lugogo side as the yardstick.
In the period, the Kasasiro boys have won everything there is to win back home including three league titles, two Uganda Cups, three Super Cups and recently, the CECAFA club cup in Kigali.
This period of success has also seen the club achieve greatly on the continent when they played in the CAF Champions League group stages where they bagged no less than two billion shillings, a feat that is not so common to Uganda clubs.
However, in the past few months, the developments at Lugogo have indicated that the law of averages has caught up with the Kasasiro boys.
For example, there were reports of a silent strike among the players over bonuses but it was also reported that Mutebi had fallen out with some players including Nicholas Kasozi who was said to be furious for the team failing to remit his sign-on fee.
To many, Mutebi’s lost three great pillars in Allan Kyambadde, Patrick Kaddu and Timothy Awany who were senior players and these were replaced with youngsters who are inexperienced.
The team had to rely on the services of Peter Magambo, Samuel Kato, Filbert Ochan and Herbert Achai who are all rookies.
For example, for the two continental competitions the team has exited in the past one month, the blame has been put on both the inexperienced and blunt striking force and a flat-footed back four.
Speaking on Thursday, the coach, however, defended his team against attacks of having many rookies who have cost them dearly.
“When you look at those 19 goals we have conceded the percentage is low as far as construction is concerned. For example in the last game(against Paradou), we distributed the ball well but they were only better than us in creating many chances. Our only problem was in the final third,”Mutebi said.
He said the centre referee cost his side due to a number of poor decisions he made against the KCCA FC team.
“When the game was one all, he discouraged us and it was a big factor. We could have picked a good result but the referee frustrated us.”
Mutebi admitted that the Algerians had more experience than his rookie players, adding that the Paradou players have been together for between five and eight years, unlike his side.
He, however, insists nothing will stop the team from playing their way.
“We shall continue playing attacking football and players must be knowledgeable of the positions they are given. They are still learning players. It is different from being technically gifted and understanding the game but our players have to go through this and I am very confident about the lads.”
“We shall try to look for solutions but that solution comes with experience.”
Mutebi also urged the KCCA FC management to try and change the policy of selling established players from the team which he says has cost them.
“Some teams come giving better money to players than we do. It makes it difficult to convince the players to stay. Maybe in future, management can look into that if a team wants to give money to our player, we can pay them and they stay,”Mutebi says.
“However it is amazing that using our meager budgets we can compete with those teams.”