The national football team head coach Antoine Hey has down played talk that he is under pressure after Amavubi were eliminated at the group stage of the ongoing CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup in Kenya.
Amavubi return home today after exiting the regional tournament with 4 points from four matches.
Hey’s team suffered two back-to-back defeats against hosts Kenya 2-0 and Zanzibar 3-1 before drawing goalless against Libya. Rwanda’s only victory came against Tanzania (2-1) on Saturday.
The team was initially supposed to return on Sunday but they failed to get air tickets on time and they will instead return today afternoon in two separate groups.
Asked if he is under pressure following Amavubi’s early exit, Hey replied, “No, I am not under pressure,” before adding that he is fully focused on preparing the team for CHAN 2018 Morocco finals.
He revealed that the team will start training camp on January 1.
“We didn’t start well but we improved with each game we played. Today (against Tanzania), we have put in our best performance of the tournament. Some players looked a bit tired but I am happy with our progress,” Hey said after victory over the Kilimanjaro Stars.
The German tactician added that, “We wanted to end on a positive note. I am happy that several players got a new chance to impress.”
Hey noted that the door to the CHAN Team is still open depending on individual performances from this tournament.
He added that his team still has more to do more on set pieces, control and to know when to attack and defend better.
Rwanda will be playing against Libya, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in Group C at Africa’s second biggest international competition, which will run from January 12 to February 4.
After returning from CECAFA, the players will return to their respective clubs as the Azam Rwanda Premier League resumes on December 19.
Since Hey was appointed as Amavubi head coach in March, he has lost four games, drew three and won four games.
Hey started his Amavubi career losing against Central African Republic 2-1 in AFCON 2019 Cameroon qualifiers, he went on to draw 1-1 against Tanzania in CHAN 2018 second qualification round first leg before drawing 0-0 at home in the second leg.
Amavubi qualified to the third qualification round, losing 3-0 in the first leg against Uganda before winning the return leg 2-0 in Kigali but it was not enough to avoid elimination.
However, Rwanda got a second chance to book the ticket to Morocco after Egypt, who had been invited to replace Kenya, withdrew from playing in the tournament.
Rwanda went on to win away against Ethiopia 3-0 in the Play-off qualifier before drawing 0-0 at home in the second leg. Rwanda CHAN team defeated Sudan 2-1 in a friendly match.