By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA
COACH Milutin “Micho” Sredojević says he will blend the Chipolopolo squad with both the 2012 Africa Cup of Nation winning players and the Under-23 squad as a balanced team was the key and formula to bring back the nation’s lost glory.
“Micho” however clarified that he would not call players from the 2012 squad based on the sympathy of fans but only those that have the ambition to achieve something for Zambia.
Appearing on a Diamond TV sports programme yesterday, “Micho” said there where areas in the team that needed a fusion of senior players.
“There are certain places in the team where you need to have a balance because you cannot put all the young lads into the fire and say I have risked. You need to have a perfect balance between the maturity and seniority of the senior players and young fresh blood of motivated players that want to achieve something for their country because that balance is exactly the key and formula to open the dry future of the Chipolopolo,” he said.
He however bluntly called Zambians to stop basking in the 2012 glory and be sincere enough that not everyone in that squad can still deliver for Zambia.
“With so much respect, some players have given their all to Zambia, have been part of the glorious times of winning in 2012, however after certain things have happened, it could not be that we continue with the same people. To say it boldly, with the same lack of ambition and yet still want to achieve something,”
“Let us not sugarcoat but be sincere that the 2012 generation was a birth of the under-20 team of 2007. Same for us aiming to go to the World Cup 2022, the platform is the group that won the 2017 under-20 AfCON and World Cup finalist. Let’s ask ourselves, who has made Zambia in 2017 and 2019, so we need to pay that price in the most respective way, it’s not a time to speak about that glory, but I have to put it under the carpet when making the decisive decisions,” “Micho” said.
The Chipolopolo coach emphasised that he would only call players that are mentally strong to serve the interests of the nation in the best possible way.
He also said goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene was a legend and is needed in the squad.
He said, if Mweene had to hang up the gloves, it has to be during a home match so that fans accord him a standing ovation.
“Micho” revealed that he decided to coach Zambia over other teams with higher salary offer because of the exceptional quality of players and the nation’s belief in God.
He said he had continued to keep tab on all the players and assured fans that Zambian football was in the right hands.
By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA