Desabre answers critics with AFCON qualification

Sebastien Desabre of Uganda watches on during the 2018 CHAN Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Uganda head coach Sebastien Desabre is proud of the manner in which the Cranes qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations and believes he answered his critics with their impressive campaign.

Uganda beat Cape Verde 1-0 in a Group L qualifier on Saturday to seal a place in the AFCON ahead of their final qualifier against Tanzania in March.

KCCA FC striker Patrick Kaddu netted the lone goal as the Cranes secured their second successive qualification following 2017's group-stage exit.

"I have proved a point," Desabre told ESPN. "I am very happy with the way we have qualified with 13 points, no goals conceded, and with a game to play.

"When I joined, we did not start well in some of the friendlies, but I needed time to settle and [understand] the players better. Now I am happy that we have proved a point as a team."

Desabre who joined the team in December as Uganda finally appointed a long-term successor for Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic, didn't win a competitive game with the Cranes until the 3-0 victory over Lesotho in October.

"It's very nice that we reached our target, which is qualification for AFCON," the Frenchman continued. "We knew Cape Verde badly wanted to win and we changed our format of play, especially defensively.

"I want to say thank you to the players, because they applied good tactical discipline and showed a lot of commitment.

"In the second half, Cape Verde tried to add two more players in attack and my boys still managed to counter that well."

Tanzania will join Uganda in the 2019 tournament if they beat Lesotho away on Sunday, although neither the Crocodiles nor Cape Verde are out of the running.

"I am very happy for Kaddu, because he is a local-based player, and has proved a point," Desabre added. "It does not matter even if a player is not playing professionally, but can come on the field and do what is expected of him.

"I thank the Uganda FA because they are dynamic and are always ready to try new things."

Since taking the reins of the national side, Desasbre has overseen a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Tanzania, before consecutive victories against Lesotho - home and away - and now Cape Verde.