Amavubi Stars’ top players believe the national team has a long to go if they are to be assured of reaching the 2010 World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations due in South Africa and Angola respectively.
Speaking to Times Sport over the weekend, the professional duo of Olivier Karekezi and Hamad Ndikumana a.k.a Katauti admitted that Rwanda still so much ground to cover.
Team captain Karekezi, who opened the scoring for Amavubi Stars in the 3-0 defeat of Mauritania last Saturday said, “We still have a lot to prove as a team as well as a nation.”
“For us (the players), we know defeating Mauritania is not the end of the long battle but we want to use this game as a pace setter for the remaining qualifiers.
“Once we are consistent and play as a unit we hope to reach the ‘Promised Land’ which is a long way off for now,” admitted the Norway-based striker.
His predecessor, Ndikumana urged Rwandans to continue backing their team like they did on Saturday; something he says motivates the players to give their best.
“We have a team mixed with young blood and experienced players but we all have one target and that is to get the best possible results.
“Reaching the Nations’ Cup finals is not an easy task and much as we plot to reach the finals, every team in our group is doing the same,” noted the former skipper who has only returned to the team after two years in wilderness.
The Cyprus based defender added, “So it’s really a long journey but appeal to the fans to be patient and have trust in the players. We will make you happy.”
The ex-Rayon Sports star further noted that, “Making predictions at this time is not a good thing since the campaign is on until October.”
Blanko earned the right to look pleased with his team but now faces a huge tactical battle away to Ethiopia. And with no worrying, he would be advised to stick with the same personnel and return to the favored 4-4-2 formation, which brings the best out of his players.
Though the Croat has introduced the 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 playing formations in Rwandan football, players are finding it difficult and fear it may work in every game.
Karekezi said, “This formation is good but we need to first master it and be able to apply it in the field confidently because once you mess around with the formation, things may end up going really bad.”
P W D L PT
Rwanda 1 1 0 0 3
Morocco 1 1 0 0 3
Mauritania 1 0 0 1 0
Ethiopia 1 0 0 1 0