Uganda are the surprise package of the ongoing Nile Basin friendly tournament in Egypt as they managed to reach the final following their surprise 1-0 victory over DR Congo.
Despite the absence of the team's key figures, Uganda stole the limelight to compete with Egypt for the $150,000 prize.
Ahram Online interviewed Scottish coach Bobby Williamson before Uganda's take on Egypt in Monday's final at Military Academy Stadium in Cairo.
AO: What are the benefits of taking part in this friendly tournament?
Despite being without our veteran players, playing in the Nile Basin tournament is very helpful for us as we are preparing to participate in the upcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Sudan next February. The major weakness point is that the tournament is too long.
Did you say that you will avoid taking risks through sticking to the same starting XI that played against Egypt in the first round and that you hope the game ends with draw and go to penalties?
I haven’t spoken to any Egyptian journalists. All these quotes are not true. The players who took part against DR Congo played very well, but we may have some changes against Egypt.
What are your team's chances of a win, and do you expect a difficult game?
Egypt played very well in the tournament as they make the most of their stars and I expect it will be a big and difficult game. We will be cautious as they are a strong team who are capable of winning. In the first game against Egypt, we depended on defense as we were only in need of one point but now we are in the final. We will play attacking football.
Egyptian media reported that you are impressed by the performance of pharaohs star Shikabala. Is that true? And who are Egypt's best players in your point of view?
As I said before, I never spoke here with the media but I can say that all players of the Egyptian team are good even the goalkeeper and the reserves.
Did you expect to reach the final of the Nile Basin tournament?
We play in every tournament to reach the final. I was the coach of Uganda in four tournaments. We reached the final in two and the semi final in the others.
Our good display and the precious 3-1 win over Burundi in our first game helped us a lot in our progress, we play every game with great determination to win.
What is your opinion on coach Hassan Shehata, in particular after he led the Egyptian team to three consecutive African Nations Cup titles? And how do you see his loss in the contest to win the 2010 best African coach award, which was won by Ghana's Milovan Rajevac?
Shehata is a good coach and one of the top in Africa, but I am not interested in evaluating people’s work.
Are you following the Egyptian league?
No I don’t follow it but I only hear about the big teams like Ahly and Zamalek.
Finally, which are the best team and best player in the Nile Basin tournament?
There were good teams but Egypt were the best. About the players, I can’t assign definite one as I consider football as a teamwork game so I evaluate teams’ effort in general.