Pasuwa tips Warriors

WARRIORS coach Kalisto Pasuwa is hoping his charges will overcome their underdog tag and is aiming to reach at least the quarterfinals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament to be held in Gabon next week.

The Warriors will be in Group B alongside some of Africa’s giants Senegal who are perched on the top rung on the continent, and Tunisia and Algeria who are third and fifth respectively.

And despite disturbances regarding the team’s accommodation and allowances, Pasuwa’s charges have since intensified their preparations for the tournament.

The Warriors are scheduled to leave for Cameroon this weekend for their final international friendly match on January 10 in Yaounde against the Indomitable Lions.

And while acknowledging that the Warriors who are the lowly ranked team in the group, Pasuwa is not writing his charges off completely and remains confident that they can improve on the 2004 and 2006 performances in which they failed to go past group stages.

“We have participated before at the Afcon and got knocked out in the group stages but this time around we are saying to the boys let’s go and improve from that and hopefully qualify for the quarterfinals,” Pasuwa told the Weekend Post. 

“So our main job here is to qualify for the quarterfinals then we will see from there.
“The days that we have been in camp so far have been splendid in everything that we are doing and also the attitude is very good.

“We are having high intensity training and you could see the way they (players) are performing they want to go and do something better for us at Afcon.”

Despite the prospect of his charges facing more illustrious stars who ply their trade in some of the best European leagues, Pasuwa believes team work will carry the day for his team.

“In football if you go with a (big) name you will falter. But if you do your things right like training well, have positive attitude; I don’t think you will go wrong when you face any opponent,” added Pasuwa.

“We have our own players, we don’t have that chance maybe of going and playing in Europe but again this is the chance for these boys to go and showcase themselves. We have the confidence, we have the talent and I think they will showcase themselves very well.

“In modern football we talk of aggression with or without the ball. When we go there we want to be compact as a team and defend as a team.”
Warriors will definitely be pinning their hopes on such players like Netherlands-based Marvelous Nakamba, striker Knowledge Musona, who is leading scorer at top-flight Belgian side KV Oostende, and Khama Billiat who had a brilliant season at Mamelodi Sundowns.

There are also players like Czech based-defender Costa Nhamoinesu, Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs and goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva who are an important part to the team. —Godknows Matarutse

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