“WE just have to work hard to finish top in Group E and qualify for the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, there is no small team in football, says Chipolopolo defensive midfielder Nathan Sinkala.
Zambia is in Group E with Kenya, Congo and Guinea Bissau for the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Sinkala who is based at Grasshopper Club in Switzerland, said the group was not an easy one looking at the surprises at the last three AfCON tournaments where the perceived underdogs went further than the preliminary stage.
He said Zambia was highly ranked in the group but that doesn’t indicate an easy qualification because football keeps changing every day.
“The group is not an easy one because football nowadays keeps changing. We can’t underrate any team, we will play as though we are meeting Ghana, Ivory Coast or Algeria. There is no small team but we just have to finish first in our group. Our qualification to the AfCON will reinvent hope in Zambians, “he said.
He emphasised that players were there to deliver the qualification but needs to work hard to achieve the objective.
He said Gabon will rekindle mixed emotions as this is where the national team perished in 1993 and 18 years later Zambia lifted the African title. “We will go back to the soil the team lifted the AfCON from but more painfully where our gallant heroes died. The venue will remind us that we are capable of getting the cup again, “he said.
Meanwhile, former national coach Patrick Phiri has advised FAZ to prepare the team as though they were meeting the five best teams on the continent. Phiri said FAZ should ensure securing friendly games with highly rated teams as a way of preparing the team adequately.
“FAZ should prepare the team the same way when Zambia is facing Ghana in the qualifiers. The group E opponents are tricky and capable of pulling a surprise,
“In fact such teams are the ones that give Zambia a tough time. I know Zambia is a better team, but it is best to prepare adequately, “he said.