Mutebi wants final push as KCCA FC eye CAF Champions League group stage

Mike Hillary Mutebi, KCCA FC head coach and Pisto Mosimane, Mamelodi Sundowns FC head coach congratulate each other during the CAF Champions League BackpagePix

Mike Mutebi believes that home advantage should help KCCA FC get over the line against Ethiopia's Saint George this weekend and reach the CAF Champions League group stage.

The Uganda Premier League champions secured a goalless draw in Addis Ababa during the first leg, and believes that backing from home supporters and the artificial turf can help KCCA reach the Last 16...if they play to their strengths.

"Every player and member of the technical staff knows the responsibility that we need to have to be able to make it to the Last 16," Mutebi told KweséESPN.

"We have to play good football and win the match convincingly," he added. "There is no rocket science about it because we must win to be able to get to the group stage."

KCCA edged past CNaPS Sport in the Preliminary Round, and have given themselves a fighting chance of making the final 16 of Africa's premier club competition for the first time since 2009.

They reached the First Round in the 2017 edition, but were defeated 3-2 by Mamelodi Sundowns to drop into the CAF Confederation Cup.

Having countered Saint George's preferred style of ball retention and patient passing in the away leg, Mutebi is determined that KCCA must play to their own strengths to retain the tactical advantage.

"We need to stick to our style of play and also take advantage of our artificial surface that we know well," he added.

"In the past, KCCA FC fans have been laid back, but they have regenerated and have now been pushing the team in the last two years," he continued. "We shall need 100% commitment from our fans to pump up the players because this is a big game for us."

With gifted midfielder Saddam Ibrahim Juma out injured, the likes of Muzamir Mutyaba, Derrick Nsibambi, Julius Poloto and Paul Mucureezi, who scored the decisive goal in the Preliminary Round, will be expected to play pivotal roles.

Saint George are also combating injury concerns, with Saladin Said and Ibrahim Fofana among several high-profile absentees.

Uganda Cranes' second-choice goalkeeper Robert Odongkara is expected to start the game for the Ethiopian giants.