…As former national coach Patrick Phiri welcomes the recalling of Mbesuma and Mulenga
FORMER Chipolopolo coach Patrick Phiri says the recalling of strikers Collins Mbesuma and Jacob Mulenga will boost the team ahead of next month’s 2017 Africa Cup Group E qualifier away to Kenya because they are experienced players.
Phiri told the Daily Nation yesterday that Mbesuma and Jacob were experienced players that could help the team grab a win against Kenya.
He said it was undeniable that experience was important to get the targeted results in football.
“Mbesuma and Jacob are doing well at their respective clubs. Their scoring skills have tremendously improved. I have no doubt that the experience of these two would boast the striking force. Experience is important in the world of football,” he said.
He said blending the old and new players will help the strength of the team.
Phiri, however, advised Mbesuma and Jacob to retain the trust of the coach by putting up a good performance.
“The duo should put their heart into this game to retain the coach’s trust. Let them show that they are worth being recalled,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the Chipolopolo will register a win against Kenya.
He advised the local players to work harder and remain disciplined if they were to get a place in the final squad.
Meanwhile, Zambia Soccer Fans Association (ZSFA) chairperson Peter Makembo said the recalling of Mbesuma and Jacob was a good move that would help the team get the needed results.
“I am glad that the coach now wants to blend more experienced players with the younger ones. It is a good move that can produce the results Zambians have been crying for. The fans will be expecting good performance from the two strikers,” he said.
He said the Chipolopolo must win the Kenya match to keep the hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations alive.
Mbesuma, based at Mpumalanga Black Aces in South Africa, returns for the first time since September 2014 in Zambia’s 2-1 away loss to Cape Verde in a 2015 Africa Cup qualifier.
Mulenga, of Chinese club Shijiazhuang Yongchang, has not featured for Zambia for 10 months since playing in the Niger doubleheader last October of the 2015 Africa Cup qualifiers.
Zambia, Kenya, Congo-Brazzaville and Guinea Bissau are tied on one point each heading into match day two of the qualifiers on September 6.