As their recent 0-4 loss to Club Africain sinks in, KCCA FC look to use their failure to qualify for the Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinals as a springboard to better next year on the continent KCCA needed only a draw to become Shs 1.2 billion rich.
However, the fact that they did not seize the moment presents itself as a mixed bag even as they look to next year.
Coach Mike Mutebi said after the loss to Africain, the Tunisians showed they were a better side.
“But it also came down to experience, which I felt my team lacked,” Mutebi added.
Away from home, KCCA has been troubled, conceding nine goals in three group games compared to the three at home.
In the entire campaign, KCCA conceded 18 goals and scored 13. In the Uganda Premier League, they scored 59 and conceded 25 goals in 30 games and had only four clean sheets, an indictment on their defending.
While Mutebi is such a strong believer in offensive and attractive football, questions have been raised about why KCCA consistently lost in similar fashion away from home. Mutebi’s critics see stubbornness and lack of pragmatism as major weaknesses.
While Mutebi prefers ball playing midfielders such as Sadam Juma, Jackson Nunda, Muzamir Mutyaba and Tom Masiko to Isaac Kirabira and Ivan Ntege, on most of the away wider pitches than Lugogo, it is players with huge lungs to cover as much ground, that can work.
In other words, functional lineups must come ahead of philosophies. Against Africain, for instance, without enough pressing in the middle especially, the defence was exposed in almost every away game. Mutebi’s ‘our way’ has been queried.
But Mutebi said: “Playing our way is premised on building a club identity. It entails good ball management, efficiency in attack and discipline in defence.
KCCA did not showcase such attributes often enough away from home.