Head coach of Leone Stars Jonathan McKinstry is still hopeful that his team can make it to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Morocco despite being bottom of group D.
Leone Stars suffered two defeats in a row in the Group stages of the qualifiers within four days.
They were beaten 2-0 at their artificial home in Lubumbashi by the Leopards of DR Congo on Wednesday with Coach McKinstry attributing the defeat to fatigue and lack of adequate time to prepare.
They lost to Les Elephantes of Ivory Coast 2-1 in Abidjan in their opening group match last Saturday.
Cameroon’s indomitable Lions are leading the group with two wins out of two games followed by DR Congo and Ivory Coast.
“Our results are very disappointing but the group remains tight and we are confident that we can still fight for qualification. I’m not giving up,” Coach Mckinstry told Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL).
He added: “Competition for the second place is going to be very tight. We are only three points behind second placed team in the group.”
“For now my focus is our next match against Cameroon in October and how we can win it.”
“I think Cameroon are in a very strong position to win the group. There are lots of qualities in their team. They are rebuilding their team after a disappointing World Cup.”
Kei Kamara who stepped in as captain for Leone Stars against DR Congo, shared the views of his coach as to why they lost.
He said: “We found ourselves in a difficult situation playing our home game against a team in their own soil. There was no home advantage”
“Our preparation wasn’t the best and we got tired due to long periods of travelling. To succeed in anything you’re doing you have to prepare well.”
The players gave 100% of energy left in them but it wasn’t enough to succeed against a team that had enough time to rest and played two consecutive games at home.”
“It’s definitely now difficult for us to qualify for the finals but it’s not impossible. Hopefully we can do it.”
By Bernard Turay
Friday September 12, 2014