THIS is our time to qualify to the World Cup, says Wedson Nyirenda. The Chipolopolo coach has set the tone for the October 7 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria by urging his players to keep cool heads in the aftermath of recent back-to-back victories over Algeria in the last round of Group B matches.
Nyirenda told Fazfootball.com that he was psyching his players that the match against the Super Eagles will be highly psychological hence the need to be mentally ready.
The coach, who led an assemblage of local players through an arduous training session at Nkoloma Stadium, said Zambia was now in a zone where local players were an integral part of the Chipolopolo.
“This game will be highly psychological, therefore we are working on their mental strength before the match. Every player and everyone on our bench know and believe that this time is our time. God can only show you the fish and it’s up to you to fish it out,” he said.
“Looking at the way we worked against Algeria home and away it tells a lot of stories. The boys now know and believe it can be done. Nigeria is a different team. We are not going to be big headed because we beat Algeria; we are focused on looking at Nigeria only.”
The former Chipolopolo star has appealed to fans to rally behind the team ahead of the clash in Nigeria.
“Let us keep pulling in one direction, we are all Zambians we need to work together. Now we know how it feels when we are working together. When we took the game against Algeria to Heroes Stadium we had so many doubting Thomases, yet we saw the people of Zambia – despite having that slight fear that we playing a North African team – coming in masses and supported the team,”
“It can only come from the extra strength coming from the fans.”
Twenty-one players reported for duty with four Zesco United players exempted as they play Kitwe United on Wednesday in a Barclays Cup quarter-final fixture in Kitwe. Foreign-based players are expected to join camp on Sunday signalling the final phase of the preparations.
Nigeria lead Group B with 10 points followed by Zambia on seven. Cameroun lie third on three points while Algeria have one point.
Toaster Nsabata (Zanaco), Allan Chibwe (Power Dynamos), Kelvin Malunga (Nkana FC)
Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu (Zesco United), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes), Muchindu Boston, Moses Nyondo (Nkana FC), Ziyo Tembo (Zanaco FC), Webster Mulenga (Red Arrows), Isaac Shamujompa (Power Dynamos)
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