THE Chipolopolo Boys this afternoon take on Ethiopia in Addis Ababa in an international friendly befor turning their arsenal on Guinea-Bissau this Saturday for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Ndola.
The Chipolopolo arrived in Ethiopia on Friday night and are scheduled to have their first training session this afternoon ahead of a match against the Walia Ibex in preparation for the AfCON qualifier.
Under fire coach Honour Janza is desperate to find a winning formula which has eluded the team since winning their maiden 2012 AfCON trophy under Herve Renard.
The team has lately come under heavy scrutiny and criticism from some sections of society including the Ministry of Sport for the numerous losses, dubbed ‘eye openers’
Janza will be looking for a better performance to ease calls for his sacking, especially after Sports Deputy Minister Ronald Chitotela last week disrupted the team’s final training session before today’s game to demand for improved performance from the team.
However, Janza could not take anymore criticism and openly indicated shortly before departure on Friday that he was ready for a smooth handover if a new coach to replace him had been found.
He said he was also affected by the team’s failure to produce good results and that he wanted it to do well, but observed that the Chipolopolo still needed time before it started producing the desired results.
Janza appealed to Zambians to exercise patience and have respect for local coaches just as they did with foreign trainers, adding that the technical bench needed the support of fans to deliver results. Meanwhile, Janza will look for inspiration from the experience of strikers Given Singuluma of TP Mazembe, Emmanuel Mayuka of Southampton in England, while Israel-based Evans Kangwa should be at his best to get a positive result away from home.
At the back in defence, Janza will hope to find a better combination among Donashano Malama, Kabaso Chongo, Fackson Kapumbu, Emmanuel Mbola, Aaron Katebe, Christopher Munthali and fast improving Kayawe Kapota of Nkana.