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Lucky Msiska © SuperSport.com

It will be tough but we need to take every chance - Msiska

Zambia Olympic Team coach Lucky Msiska says the key to his side over-turning a huge 0-3 deficit against Algeria will be for his boys to be sharp and accurate in front of goal when the Zambia U23 take on their Algeria counterparts in the return leg of the 2012 London Olympic Games qualifier Saturday June 18.

“What we need in the game on Saturday is to take all our chances as they come. We need to play well as we did in Algeria. But now, just playing well isn’t the target, we need to score. Our task is to ensure that we play well and most importantly score because that’s what will take us forward. It will be tough but we can do it,” Msiska told cafonline.com.

Msiska has an unenviable task of overhauling a first leg three goal deficit as he leads his Zambian side against Algeria in the return leg of the 2012 London Olympic Games qualifier Saturday June 18. Going into the game the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has stated that they expect nothing short of a victory and qualification; stressing that the team has everything it needs to progress to the next round as the road to London 2012 nears its crescendo.

FAZ Communications Manager and Spokesperson Erick Mwanza told a news briefing that despite a 0-3 deficit, FAZ was looking forward to a positive result which would eliminate Algeria. He said the team will be prepared adequately for what should be a remarkable come back for the Zambians as the Algerians look set to defend their precious three goals.

Mwanza said with a number of Chipolopolo stars lining up and boosting the Zambia Olympic Team, there would be no excuses for defeat by the technical staff. While Swiss striker Emmanuel Mayuka remains a doubt, Roger Kola, midfielders Justin Zulu and Venacious Mapande will be part of the Zambia Olympic Team as Algeria visit Nchanga Stadium. It is a boost that has excited football fans, boosted Msiska’s selection options, strengthened his squad and excited FAZ. The Algerians, who have kept their South African training camp doors camp closed, are expected to arrive in Ndola, northern Zambia on Thursday and then take the 100kilometre journey by road to Chingola from where they will stay to match day.

Cafonline: Coach, you lost the first leg in Algiers by three goals to nil. Soon after that you set your camp as the Algerians flew into South Africa to prepare as well. How will you be approaching the second leg on Saturday at Nchanga Stadium in Chingola?

Msiska: In Algeria, we played very well. It’s unfortunate that we lost and didn’t even score a goal. But now we’re focused on the return leg. It will be a very tough and difficult game but we know we can do it. We know how our colleagues played. We know what we need to do and we’re busy psyching the players on the task we have and we go into the game with belief that we can do. When we returned from Algeria, we know we didn’t use the first week fully but we have enough time to prepare and be ready. Our appeal is for the fans to come and cheer us as they did against Mozambique when our senior team won 3-0 on the weekend we were in Algiers. We need everyone else’s support.

Cafonline: are you confident of over-turning the first leg result? Can you score three here to tie the match and even get a fourth to qualify?

Msiska: it will be a tough game. It will be difficult but I think we can do it. In football anything is possible. What we need in the game on Saturday is to take all our chances as they come. We need to play well as we did in Algeria. But now, just playing well isn’t the target, we need to score. Our task is to ensure that we play well and most importantly score because that’s what will take us forward. It will be tough but we can do it.

Cafonline: you will be missing Swiss attacking midfielder Fwayo Tembo because of two accumulated yellow cards which have led to him being suspended by FIFA for the game against Algeria. You may also not have striker Mayuka and Stoppila Sunzu. How will that impact on your game plan?

Msiska: it’s sad that we will Fwayo (Swiss club FC Basel attacking midfielder). He is an important player. But we have other players who will take up his place and do as well as he could do. Obviously we would have loved to have him but now we are planning without him. We are happy that we have other players we expect to join the team like Justin and Kola. We will wait to see if we can have Mayuka and Sunzu. These will add value to the team and help us achieve our goal.

Cafonline: What is your strategy getting into this game? Are you going to go on attack from the start or play cautiously for fear of being hit on expected counter-attacking play from the Algerians? What’s your strategy and plan?

Msiska: of course, we have to go for goals. We are chasing three goals for a start. But even as we attack, we have to be cautious because we may be hit on the counter-attack. But to reveal our plan may not be the best strategy for now. So you will see what we shall do on Saturday.

Cafonline: The Football Association of Zambia has not only facilitated for six Chipolopolo stars to join the team, they have also brought Chipolopolo head trainer Dario Bonetti and Technical Director Honour Janza to work with you. Is that helping you and boosting the squad or it’s a distraction? Do you feel there’s lack of confidence in your ability?

Msiska: it is good for them to help us. This is an important game and we all need to work together to go forward. I’ve worked with Dario and we continue to work together. For Janza, it’s not the first time he will be working with us. The TD has worked with us well and I am looking forward to working with them. This assignment is not about any personalities; it’s a national issues and undertaking so we all need to work together. It is a good thing FAZ has brought the coaches to work with us because we need everybody’s input. It’s a tough assignment so we need the input of everyone. We are all a team and we all work together; on the field and even in the technical committee where we all sit, so it’s nothing new.







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