KCCA coach Mike Mutebi has defended his early substitutions in the 1-1 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns that cost the side a chance to reach the group stages of CAF Champions League.
The gaffer withdrew youngster Allan Okello for Nigerian Sulaimon Akinyemi at the start of the second half and a couple of minutes later, took off Paul Mucureezi for Paul Musamali with the hosts leading 1-0.
Tasked to explain why he did so with his side still in control of the game, Mutebi said he wanted to kill off the game.
“For a team that is leading, we wanted to close shop,” said Mutebi. “All the substitutes we made were offensive. We didn’t bring in a holding midfielder or ten but an attacking midfielder and forward,” he added.
We emphasize go kill it in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Unfortunately it didn’t work.
The manager however pointed a finger at Akinyemi who he later hauled off when Anthony Laffor scored to tie the game and swing advantage into the visitors’ way saying the player failed to interprete the game.
“When you make a substitution, you are looking for solutions,” he started. “The young kid (Okello) got tired but in the first half, you could see we were playing with coherence in the middle but he got tired so I had to bring in some body who could give us more zest going forward and we brought on an experienced player like Akinyemi,” he continued.
But unfortunately, he didn’t interprete things well. Instead of going forward, we started being defensive so it was a mistake from the player and I had to make a change. I am being honest; He had to do the job which he didn’t.
The one-time league winner however praised the rest of the players including Musamali who came on for a lively Mucureezi.
The other players were fantastic. They did their job and so did Musamali although he didn’t do well.
When tasked to reveal what he asked of Musamali, Mike said: “I wanted him to engage their two centre backs who were switching play and I thing he did well though not as I wanted.”
KCCA’s dream now turns to the CAF Confederation Cup where they still have a chance to reach the group stages of the second most lucrative club competition in Africa.