A potential scare awaits Stanbic Uganda Cup record winners Express at Kajjansi this Sunday. And the Red Eagles boss James Odoch is well aware of it.
Ahead of the round of 64 date against Buganda Regional side Kajjansi United, Odoch sounded a cautious call to his soldiers.
Odoch had watched his village team Kisugu United eject StarTimes Uganda Premier League side Maroons 2-1 at Bugolobi on Thursday and knows the unpredictable nature of giant slayers Kajjansi United.
“We are facing a team that raises it’s game when they face the big boys. At their backyard, they stunned Vipers a few years ago and will make it extremely hard for us,” Odoch told Sunday Monitor.
Having won the knockout trophy with Express in 1997 and 2000 as a firebrand midfielder, Odoch knows firsthand the pride experience that will come with the 10-time winners storming the the round of 32 stage – and may be even winning it as a coach.
“The rebuilding I have initiated at Wankulukuku will gain more momentum if we can win the Uganda Cup and finish well in the league.We are not taking this game lightly and most of our star players will feature, ” he added.
Express, league winners on seven occasions, have flattered to decieve on the league front with 17 points from 14 matches and occupy an uncharacteristic ninth slot on the table.
If anything, the goal scoring burden has put paid to this.With just 12 goals this season and an over reliance on moody five-goal hero Allan Kayiwa, Express are in a mess.
As such, they have raked around the January transfer window and ensured experienced journeyman striker Boban Zirintusa and youthful winger Frank Ssenyondo to put Kayiwa, Joseph Akwandanaho and Ivan Mayanja out of their comfort zone.
“We need to start firing on all cylinders and we hope the new boys can get us rolling,” Odoch stressed.
They have also shopped for a goalkeeper Ronald Mutebi to give Denis Otim competition and a full back Ismail Kawawulo to had steel in a defence that has let in 15 goals in as many matches.
Holders Bul and last year’s runners up Vipers dug deep this week to get over perceived minnows and the same task awaits Express that last lifted the Uganda Cup trophy aloft in 2007 when they beat KCC (then) via spotkicks.