13 Apr 2019 14:50pm
By Marco Ndlovu
WINDHOEK, 13 APR (NAMPA) Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti says the country needs to prepare better than their group stage opponents if they are to do well in the 32nd edition of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
Speaking to Nampa from Giza in Egypt where the Friday night draw took place, Mannetti said this is what the tournament expects of teams that qualify, to play and beat the best in order to be the best.
Namibia was drawn into what has now been termed the Group of Death (Group D) with neighbours South Africa, Ivory Coast and Morocco.
They have better quality than us, they have a lot of experience in tournaments like this. We need to be fitter than them, meaning we need to run faster than them, we need to work harder than them, Mannetti explained.
He added that the country needs to get into preparation mode as of Monday, 15 April.
He called on the government, the Namibia Football Association and the country as a whole to support the Brave Warriors in their quest to surprise Africa.
As a technical team, we need to stand together and instil a good work ethic in the boys. We will go into that group as underdogs and that is not an easy task. We will take it one game at a time, said Mannetti.
He further stated that the aim is to win at least one match at the tournament, before thinking about getting out of the group and playing the knockout stages.
The 2015 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations winning coach noted that people should be realistic about Namibias chances at the tournament, saying being emotional will not help anyone.
Meanwhile, his assistant Ronnie Kanalelo told Nampa from his base in South Africa via telephone that there was never going to be an easy draw as the country could have drawn any of the so-called continental giants like host Egypt, Morocco, Senegal or Nigeria.
Everything is tight at this stage. The seeding was clear. It is all about preparations now, everyone has a chance as it stands because we will all start at 0-0. The results will come after 90 minutes, he explained.
He further said the game has changed as it is now tactical and all about getting everything right.
The 2019 AFCON will run from 21 June to 19 July in Egypt.