Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, the Chipolopolo coach is aiming at a perfect and bright start as his team seeks to retain the Cosafa Cup.
Zambia kick off their 2021 campaign against Lesotho today (Thursday) at the Wolson Stadium at 12:00 hours.
While speaking to FAZ media on Wednesday after the tram’s last training at Gelvandale Stadium, Micho extolled his players for the camaraderie and commitment exhibited ahead of the tie.
“We are looking to enter the competition in the best possible way with a win that could give us confidence ahead of the remaining matches,” he said.
“We are in high spirits, I need to thank everyone FAZ president, his executive and all the people that have enabled us to prepare very well. Immediately after finishing the league, we got our players together and we have worked now for 10 days,” he said.
The Serb is optimistic his boys have learnt just enough during the rehearsals.
“After 10 days of work, I believe that we have made steps forward in order to have a tight defence in order to not concede, to have a sharp creative attack so that talent and quality of our players is getting us performances and results.”
Micho is hopeful that the return of experienced goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene to the national team will inspire younger players to aspire for greater levels of success in the game.
“Touch of maturity and seniority that Kennedy is bringing is very much important. Carrying the jersey of Chipolopolo is not an easy task, very often you are bringing the player and then jersey is so heavy because inside every jersey is the dreams of millions of Zambians and ambitions of the nation,” he said.
“When we have that in mind, we are fully aware that his maturity and seniority has added value to the team. Together with the other senior players, he is helping the younger players to adapt so that we have a perfect blend of maturity and seniority and young players that are supposed to come and carry the Chipolopolo high,” the ‘Serbian Wolf’ added
After the game against Lesotho on Thursday, the cup holders will July 10, take on Eswatini in their second fixture.
Three days later, Zambia will tussle it out against Botswana before entertaining hosts South Africa at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on July 14, 2021.
Relatedly, the 2015 champions Namibia defeated west African guest nation Senegal 2-1 to get their 2021 Group B campaign off to a positive start in Nelson Mandela Bay on Wednesday, while Zimbabwe and Mozambique were deadlocked at 0-0.