Zambia’s preparations for the must-win 2018 World Cup qualifiying match against the Super Eagles has been beset by injuries to key players and the inability of others to make it to camp but Chipolopolo coach Wedson Nyirenda has said these setbacks will not deter his team from picking a win on Saturday in Uyo.
Nyirenda is encouraged by the positive energy shown by players in camp and believes this will be a big incentive ahead of the game.
“The atmosphere is so great here and there is so much positive energy in the team that I can see us beating Nigeria. The captain is here as well as Chisamba and they have been training extremely well with the rest of the team,” Nyirenda said.
All the other invited players bar Edward Chilufya who had paperwork issues to sort out with his club and the injured duo of Emmanuel Banda and Brian Mwila who have been replaced, Nyirenda is satisfied with the personnel he has to work with.
He said: “Preparations are going on well and there is so much oneness and love among the players and technical bench. We are all focused towards achieving that common goal of winning the match.”
The team flew into Abuja on Wednesday morning where striker Patson Daka is expected to join them before they move to Uyo, venue of Saturday’s match.
The coach, who has seen a remarkable turnaround in the World Cup qualifying fortunes of Zambia claims he’s unfazed by the absence of Chilufya but expressed hope that Daka will be fit enough for the game.
“Edward’s absence is just a minor setback and will not derail our plans that much because we have enough manpower to fill the vacuum and Patson is a fighter I am positive he will pass the fitness test before the match on Saturday,” Nyirenda said.
Patson’s Austria club, Lierfering FC reportedly delayed his release, opting to assess him themselves before he could be allowed to join the Chipolopolo.