NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – Despite enjoying stellar form with his Zambian top flight club Zesco United, Jesse Were has continually fallen out of favor in the national team and head coach Sebastien Migne has challenged him to work harder if he is to be in his squad for the Cup of Nations in June.
Were was the surprise exclusion in coach Sebastien Migne’s travelling squad to Ghana for last Saturday’s final AFCON qualifier and the tactician has explained that his decision is purely based on what he sees the forward do in training.
“Not enough. (What he does in training). With my staff we have choices to make,” the Frenchman said.
“Everybody can speak about Jesse but how many goals has he scored in the national team? Never in 26 call ups. That’s the beginning of my answer. In the high level it’s not because we have a good guy with a good behavior,”
“You have to be efficient if you have to compete. But maybe he can show me; he has the answer. If tomorrow I see that he is ready to compete with me he is there in the team. He is a nice guy with good behavior and I have no problem with him. It is just a question of the level,” the tactician further insinuated.
Were who scored double digit goals during his time with Mathare United and Tusker FC in the Kenyan Premier League has translated that same form in Zambia, but at the national team is where his luck has not stood out.
Those close to him say he is frustrated by his lack of goals in the national team, but has vowed to work harder and convince Migne to hand him a chance and probably a place in the team that travel to Egypt in June for the Cup of Nations.
At the same time, Migne has come into keeper Patrick Matasi’s defense having let in what seemed like an easy goal in the 1-0 loss to Ghana.
“We cannot forget what he did for us; he saved us in first leg against Ghana. Yesterday was more difficult; yes, he committed a mistake but I don’t forget what he did before,”
“It is different for a keeper because when anyone else commits a mistake, there is always someone who comes up and covers but when you are a keeper, your mistake is more difficult. During the period I have been here, he has kept at least five clean sheets and I do not forget about it,” the tactician stated.
Speaking on the howler, Matasi says he was sorry to concede such a goal but notes it was a mishap of a second.
“We lost the ball in midfield and the play changed to our side even before the defense could organize. The shot came through and it was just a miscalculation of a matter of seconds going down. But it’s part of football,” noted the former Posta Rangers and Tusker shot stopper.
Migne says he was dejected losing against the Ghanaians with a late goal especially having put up a good defensive shield and looked on the way to pick up a positive result and finish top of the group.
But with that result behind his back, the tactician now shifts his focus to the main tournament in Egypt and has urged the government to ensure the team gets good preparations to ensure they do well. Top on his priority is his proposed camp in France.
“If we are to realize a good AFCON, we have to get good support of the government as soon as possible. We are already late in paying for the camp in France and we need to take care of that. Also, small details like travelling have to be taken care of. In the high level, it is all about the small details,” he noted.
At the same time he noted that he will follow up all the players he has primarily listed down for the tournament but says everyone has to prove he deserves a place in the team with the work they put on the pitch.
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