Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden has admitted feeling the heat following his team’s elimination from the 2018 Championship of African Nations (Chan) preliminary round.
The Flames were shown the exit door following a 0-2 aggregate loss to Madagascar’s Barea on Saturday.
The Belgian tactician, who has only been with the team for less than a month, was responding to a question on whether he is now feeling the pressure.
“There is always pressure in this game and when you cannot work under pressure, then this is not your job. You have to quit. So, yes, there is pressure,” said van Geneugden in an interview with The Nation yesterday.
Asked for his assessment having seen the team play three matches, van Geneugden said: “There is good stability, the attitude has been positive. I think in accordance with the game plan, we played well both in Kenya and Madagascar although we conceded a late goal.
“But honestly, I expected more in yesterday’s [return] match, but we didn’t play well. The plan was to stick to possession and play a more passing game while being offensive, but [instead] we played a sort of kick-and-rush type.”
Van Geneugden said he now plans to look for “tactical players with special qualities”.
He said: “For instance, we had about three to four good chances which we could have easily put away, but we failed to make them count.
“So, I want to try and see more players with specific qualities. In this regard, as a [technical] panel we will be watching at least two games per week starting this coming weekend and I will be engaging club and developmental coaches very often.”
Asked about which players he felt stood out in the return leg against the Barea, van Geneugden took a long breath and said: “It is difficult for me to say because you win and lose as a team. Nevertheless, I would say, defensively organisation was strong and I suppose the outstanding players must have been in the defence.”
On the way forward, the coach said he will now be required to present a report [to the technical subcommittee] covering the past three weeks and then switch focus to the Flames 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) opening Group B qualifier against Comoros scheduled for next month at home.
Commenting on the game, sports analyst Charles Nyirenda said Madagascar were tactically better.
“They have won because they planned well. They were strong in midfield. We played well in the first half, but we could not create real chances as we only had two shots at goal. The second half was disappointing as we failed to create any meaningful chance,” he said.
Commenting on the coach, Nyirenda said: “He is yet to settle down, but at least now he has a glimpse of what to expect. But sometimes the coach is as good as the players you have. So, the critical question is do we really have quality players?” n