Brave Warriors coach Bernard Kaanjuka has said Malawi will pay heavily for showing disrespect to his team ahead of Saturday’s World Cup qualifier in Windhoek.
He was reacting to press statements in the Malawi media which he said showed a lack of respect towards Namibia.
“If you read the comments they are making in their newspapers and even the comments from their coach, you can see that they don’t respect us at all,” said Kaanjuka addressing reporters soon after a training session on Wednesday
“There were comments like ‘they are coming here to beat us’ and ‘who is Namibia’ and such things, but we will show them on Saturday who Namibia is,” Thursday’s The Namibian Sport quoted him as saying.
Kaanjuka sounded confident about the match and referred to Namibia’s impressive record against Malawi. Since independence in 1990, Namibia has won six times in competitive matches against the Flames.
“Our record against Malawi is good, if you look at it, you will see that we are far ahead,” he said.
Kaanjuka said that recent changes in the Malawi team would also play to their advantage.
Malawi fired former coach Kinnah Phiri in January and Kaanjuka said caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo was still new to their set-up.
“Their preparation has been disturbed because they fired their former coach and they’ve got a new coach who must still get to know his players,” he said.
The Brave Warriors squad trained at the DTS Club Thursday morning, with all foreign-based players present except for Manfred Starke of Hansa Rostock, although he has arrived in Namibia.
The other foreign-based players in the squad are Henrico Botes, Rudolf Bester, Petrus Shitembi, Virgil Vries, Ronald Ketjijere and Willem Mwedihanga, who all play in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League, and Lazarus Kaimbi and Tangeni Shipahu who play in Thailand.
Flames coach Eddington Ng’onamo expressed concern over his strikers.
“We just need to be sharp in attack and we’ll beat Namibia. The defence, midfield and goalkeeping are OK, but the problem is upfront. We are working towards that in the next three days. Once we solve that problem, Namibia will be easy to beat,” said Ng’onamo.
Namibia are currently second in Group F. African champions Nigeria are leading on four points, followed by Namibia on three, Malawi on two and Kenya on one point.