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Mario Marinica pleads for patience

OFF TO GUINEA—Flames

Flames coach Marian Mario Marinica has come to the defence of his troops by saying “God did not create the world in a day” and that, as such, his charges should be given time to adapt to his philosophy.

Marinica said the Flames were adapting well to his “fast and very fast football philosophy” but insisted that it will take time for the players to fully embrace it.

“The Flames are work in progress. The players are doing fantastically well so far. Even the mighty God did not create the world in one day. Changes take time and patience,” Marinica said.

His comments come a day after The Flames earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Ethiopia at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Sunday.

Marinica is introducing fast and very fast football philosophy which includes thinking and moving fast.

However, his philosophy has been under heavy criticism from some sections of fans, who say The Flames are no longer playing entertaining football.

The Flames are known for playing a passing game which is sweet to the eye.

The Romanian said his focus was on winning matches instead of entertaining the crowd only.

“Yesterday [Sunday] we had 13 shots, three more than we aimed for, though we missed the target on several occasions. For Guinea match, we aim for minimum six shots,” he said.

Against Ethiopia, The Flames were outplayed, especially in midfield, in the second half.

Sports analyst Peterkins Kayira said The Flames have a big job ahead in Guinea.

“It was one of the worst performances from the team. To be honest, some local clubs play better football than The Flames,” Kayira said.

Meanwhile, The Flames left Monday through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) for Conakry, Guinea, for the match against Guinea slated for Thursday.

The Flames are top of Group D with three points, at par with second placed Egypt, whereas Guinea and Ethiopia have no point after losing their opening matches.

But they face a big test against Guinea, a side that beat them 1-0 during the Afcon finals in Cameroon early this year.

In another Group D match, Ethiopia will host Egypt at Bingu National Stadium on Thursday night.

All the four teams in Group D are hoping for back-to-back Afcon finals qualification. Should The Flames qualify for the 2023 Afcon finals, it will be the fourth time after 1984, 2010 and 2021.

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