Photo: Mckinstry shaking hands with Ivory Coast coach Renard Herve in Abidjan
Johnny Mckinstry is confident Sierra Leone will bounce back from the miserable start to the African Cup of Nations qualifying against Ivory Coast and DR Congo and also he maintain that there is a need for togetherness in this difficult time not only in football but the country as a whole.
McKinstry said. “Everyone is naturally disappointed with the two results this past week. However, the preparation for both games has been difficult and not ideal; fatigue is clearly an issue also.
The team have spent more time in travel this week than we have in DR Congo – including spending 2 of our 4 recovery days travelling or waiting in airports. It was evident in the second half that our boys were tiring, Competition for the second place is going to be very tight, we are only behind Ivory Coast and DRC Leopards by three points, we can still qualify if we win our next match home tie against Cameroon in October .
I will continue to work with the SLFA and Sport Ministry on the steps that can be taken to ensure sufficient training time before our games, as I remain clear that it is vital we make full use of FIFA preparation days if we wish to maintain and further enhance our world ranking and to qualify for the African Cup of Nations next year”.
With some stakeholders and the general public expressing dissatisfaction at both results, the pressure is now on the Northern Irish International McKinstry to turn Sierra Leone’s fortunes around when Leone Stars take on The Indomitable Lions in Lubumbashi come October.
Repeatedly the coach has indicated about the ‘inadequate preparation’, he told Football Sierra Leone. “20 hours waiting at airports en-route to DR Congo, disrupted traveling plans that also means we only have one training session before our match with DR Congo, to compound matters lack of seat availability as such we were left with a difficult position to drop two players.
The decision was taken that Alfred Sankoh and Gibrilla Woobay would not be travel; both players were informed personally by myself. I do stress however, that if it were not for the mishap regarding seat availability, both players would have made the trip to Lubumbashi”.