Coach of Chipolopolo of Zambia, Wedson Nyirenda is bullish that his team will revenge the 2-1 home loss to Nigeria’s Super Eagles in Ndola last year and go all the way to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia on the final day of the African qualifying Group B.. In this interview with Completesportsnigeria.com
‘s RICHARD JIDEAKA in Abuja, Nyirenda explains reasons the Super Eagles Eagles won in Ndola, how the Chipolopolo have improved since then, and why he is upbeat that they will win in Uyo. Excerps…
CS: How ready is your team that will face the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday in Uyo?
NYIRENDA: We are very ready to inflict pains on Nigerians by beating your Super Eagles in Uyo and put ourselves in good position to qualify for the World Cup. If your team could beat us in our home, nothing stops us from doing so to you on Saturday in Uyo..
You sounds bullish in this your revenge mission. What gives you the courage that your team has what it takes to beat the Super Eagles in Uyo?
I am not bullish, but confident that my boys will play to form and get the three points at stake. We have a very improved squad different from the team that lost to Nigeria in the first meeting. We are ready to put our youth advantage to use and beat your Eagles
Are you going to sit back and absorb pressure from the Super Eagles and catch them on counter attack with your young, energetic and fast players?
I am not going to tell you how we would play because that will be disclosing my game plan. When we get to the pitch, we shall size up the Eagles and know how to play them. The Eagles are more experienced and exposed, but we shall play to our strength.
From the way you talk, you don’t seem to harbour any fear for the Super Eagles…
You just called your team Super Eagles. Ordinarily, the name should strike fear on countries in Africa, but we don’t fear any body. We respect the Super Eagles for the big players and what they are, but we don’t fear them. We have players who can match your team head to head and toe to toe. It will be 11 players on either side of the pitch .
What makes you believe that you can beat the Super Eagles side that defeated you on your home ground?
We weren’t expecting a defeat when the Super Eagles beat us in Ndola last year, but my thinking then was that we did enough to get at worst a draw. Again, I was barely 15 days on the job as head coach when we played that match. Since then, we have remained unbeaten and have improved very much. I inherited a team which I have been able to turn around to my taste and delight of Zambians
Nobody gave your team a chance against Algeria, but you beat them home and away. How did you manage to perform such ‘magic’?
It’s no magic, but the determination of the players and hunger to go the World Cup. We are focused and we play our game anywhere. To get a win in Constantine in Algeria was a big achievement for this young team, and this has given us the belief that we can beat any team, not excluding Nigeria. We know you beat Cameroon here, but we also know you lost to South Africa at same venue.
Your final word on the match on Saturday…
It is going to be a tough game, but I can only see us winning. The expectation from Nigerians will be high and that will put pressure on your team, and we will capitalize on that to win.
Do you feel any pressure to win and do you have any injury concern?
Pressure? Not really, but I could be tensed before the game. The pressure is on Nigeria. I have a couple of injury worries which we have taken care of.
See you on Saturday coach Nyirenda…
You didn’t wish me good luck, but we will see after our win