No target for Flames
Marinica challenges players to show their potential
Flames interim coach Marian Mario Marinica has said he has not set unrealistic targets for his troops ahead of next week’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Cameroon.
Marinica disclosed this during Tuesday’s virtual press conference at the end of a 10-day training camp in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“It is not easy to have targets and if we are to set targets, we also need to be realistic. I don’t have targets. My focus is on performance of the team, on how we are going to play; attack and defend during the match,” Marinica said.
“Most of the teams we are going to face at Afcon finals have stars in premier leagues because they have value to be there. So, I want our players to showcase their potential and talent. We will try to contain these players so that we show that we have potential to be there,” he added.
During the training camp in Saudi Arabia, the Flames registered a 2-1 victory over Comoros Islands on Friday night.
The friendly against Mali was called off after some of Eagles players tested positive for Coronavirus.
The 56-year-old Romanian said, despite some hiccups, the training camp in Saudi Arabia was a success.
“There are so many positives from the training camp. Players worked very hard and the players were determined,” he said.
The Flames were expected to leave Saudi Arabia for Cameroon at dawn today.
On his part, Flames captain Limbikani Mzava said morale was high in camp.
“Everyone is geared for the tournament. The feeling among the players is special. It is an honour for us and we will do the nation proud,” Mzava said.
Mzava will make his debut at the continental showpiece finals, 11 years after he was dropped from the final squad that went to Angola in 2010.
Three players, namely goalkeeper Charles Thom, defender Gomozgani Chirwa and midfielder Chimwemwe Idana, left the country yesterday and will meet the rest of the players in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today.
Blossoming forward Peter Banda is also expected to join the teammates in Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Executive Committee Member, Chimango Munthali, who was the leader of delegation, hailed Saudi Arabia Football Association for hosting the team.
“The environment was very good and the players were able to focus throughout the 10-day camp,” Munthali said.
Malawi will start the Afcon campaign against Guinea on Monday before facing Zimbabwe four days later. They will wrap up group stage games against number one-ranked team in Africa Senegal on January 18.
The Flames have never gone past the group stages in the competition’s history.