There was no hint of nervousness as he spoke, no hint of doubt and, absolutely no hint of fear.
Instead, Be Forward Wanderers caretaker coach Albert ‘Kika’ Mpinganjira was a symbol of buoyance and calmness yesterday as he looked forward to his first task against Silver Strikers this afternoon in the Airtel Top 8 quarter-final second leg.
The Nomads take to Silver Stadium in Lilongwe with their backs to the wall having lost the first leg 0-1 at home just over a fortnight ago.
“Zonse zabwinobwino [It’s all good],” was Albert’s quick-fire response when asked if he is ready to stand the heat from disgruntled Wanderers followers, who expect nothing short of a win after two successive losses which led to the technical panel shake up.
The shake up saw Albert replacing his elder brother Bob, albeit in an interim capacity.
“I am not under any sort of pressure. Everyone, in particular the players, know the importance of this match and I believe we are ready for the return fixture,” he said.
Team manager Stevie Madeira described the atmosphere in the Nomads camp as phenomenal.
“We have 150 percent chances of winning and going through. The morale is high and you can see it in the body language of the players that they are raring to go,” he said.
But whether they will convert fantasy into reality remains to be seen.
The Nomads have received a timely boost with the news that their captain Alfred Manyozo Jnr and defender Chembezi Dennis have recovered from injuries and are available for selection. However, another defender Peter Cholopi is ruled out of the fixture.
On the other hand, Silver assistant coach Peter Mgangira played down suggestions that his side has a spring in its step owing to the vital away victory.
“It’s a different game altogether. We have seen what has been happening in the [Uefa] Champions League, especially in the contest between Ajax [Amsterdam] and Tottenham in which the latter defied the odds to turn the tables and that’s football for you. We need to draw lessons from such experiences.
“We are up against a good team and the slender lead means nothing to us,” he said.
Just like the Lali Lubani Road side, the Central Bankers are plastered with class and in the likes of Khuda Muyaba, Thuso Paipi, Mike Tetteh, Levison Maganizo, Jack Chiona, Dincan Nyoni and captain Young Chimodzi Jnr, they have enough armoury to complete the mission.
On the other hand, the Nomads will look up to the likes of Zicco Mkanda, Francis Mkonda, Felix Zulu, Stanley Sanudi, Richard Rabson, Fransisco Madinga and Misheck Botomani.
In another quarter-final second leg, Masters Security host Kamuzu Barracks (KB) at Dedza Stadium. KB won the first leg 2-1 at home.
Karonga United and Mzuni FC are already through to the semis having seen off TN Stars and Civil Sporting Club, respectively on away goal rule.