Chipolopolo coach Wedson Nyirenda has set the tone for the October 7 Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Nigeria by urging his players to keep cool heads in the aftermath of back to back victories over Algeria in the last round of matches.
Nyirenda told Fazfootball.com that he was psyching his players that the match against the Super Eagles will be highly psychological hence the need to be mentally ready.
The coach who led an all local assemblage of local players at Nkoloma Stadium through an arduous session said that Zambia had now drifted in a zone where local players were an integral part of the Chipolopolo.
“This game will be highly psychological, therefore we are working on their mental strength before the match. Every player and everyone on our bench know and believe that this time is our time. God can only show you the fish and it up to you to fish it out,” he said.
“Looking at the way we worked against Algeria home and away it tells a lot of stories. The boys now know and believe it can be done. Nigeria is a different team we are not going to be big headed because we beat Algeria we are focussed on looking at Nigeria only.”
The former Chipolopolo star has appealed to the fans to rally behind the team ahead of the clash in Nigeria.
“Let us keep pulling in one direction, we are all Zambians we need to work together. Now we know how it feels when we are working together,” he said.
“When we took the game against Algeria to Heroes Stadium we had so many doubting Thomasses, yet we saw the people of Zambia despite having that slight fear that we playing a North African team coming in masses and supported the team.”
He added: “It can only come from the extra strength coming from the fans.”
Twenty one player reported for duty with four Zesco United players exempted as they play Kitwe United on Wednesday in a Barclays Cup quarter final fixture in Kitwe.
Foreign based players are expected to join camp on Sunday signalling the final phase of the preparations.
Nigeria lead Group B with 10 points while Zambia trails them on seven points with Cameroun lying third on three points while Algeria are stuck on one point.
Toaster Nsabata Goalkeeper (Zanaco), Allan Chibwe (Power Dynamos), Kelvin Malunga (Nkana FC)
Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu (Zesco United), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes), Muchindu Boston, Moses Nyondo (Nkana FC), Ziyo Tembo (Zanaco FC), Webster Mulenga (Red Arrows), Isaac Shamujompa (Power Dynamos)
Donashano Malama (Nkana FC), Kondwani Mtonga, Mischeck Chaila John Ching’andu (Zesco United FC), Ernest Mbewe, Augustine Mulenga (Zanaco), Godfrey Ngwenya, Larry Bwalya (Power Dynamos), Lameck Banda (Nkwazi), Jack Chirwa, Mike Katiba, Diamond Chikwekwe (Green Buffaloes)
Alex Ng’onga, Martin Phiri (Power Dynamos), Lubinda Mundia (Red Arrows)