Former Zambia national team trainer Faghton Simukonda says Zambia is capable of defending AFCON trophy in South Africa next year.
Simukonda said that Zambia being champions were a highly rated team with a lot of respect after winning the AFCON finals in Gabon last year.
He said underrating any team may put Zambia national team‘s campaign to defend the title at a very high risk because all eyes will be on them.
Simukonda said that same underrating mentality caused former AFCON champions Egypt to miss out on two finals in a row.
Pharaohs were booted out of 2013 finals by little unknown central Africa republic in the qualifying round early this year.
He said that coach Herve Renard can achieve similar feat if he took each game with same pace that won the country first ever AFCON trophy last year.
He said that Renard should aim at winning the first game to get momentum for other games against Burkina Faso and Nigeria.
He said that Zambia ‘s opening game Ethiopia on January 22,2013 was a tricky game which should be treated with hard work and seriousness without thinking of the country’s football status in Africa
Simukonda said that football has advanced and changed because of technology and expatriate coaches who were adding value to the sport.
He said that in the past countries performed below expected levels because they were not capable of hiring foreign coaches with vast experience.
Simukonda said the Chipolopolo Boys would still beat their rivals if they don’t underrate any opponent during AFCON finals next year.
He said going on the pitch with mindset of being giants and consider Ethiopia as under dogs may surprise Zambia.
Zambia are in Group C withy Burkina Faso and Super Eagles of Nigeria who are considered among favorites to win this 2013 finals.