Warriors in the right frame of mind, says Loga HAPPY WARRIOR . . . Zimbabwe coach, Zdravko Logarusic (right), addresses a media conference in the company of team manager, Wellington Mpandare, in Harare yesterday.

Tadious Manyepo

Sports Reporter

WARRIORS coach Zdravko Logarusic says his charges are in the right frame of mind to complete their mission to qualify for the 2021 AFCON finals. 

They are scheduled to leave for Botswana, today, where they will take on the Zebras, in Francistown, tomorrow. 

The match kicks-off at 6pm. 

Loga said he is unfazed by the Zebras growing status and is not worried about their attacking threat, especially at home, or their defensive qualities, which have shone throughout the qualifiers. 

The Zebras have conceded only three goals, including one at home against Algeria, in their four AFCON qualifiers. 

They held the Warriors to a goalless draw at the National Sports Stadium last year. 

“In football, nothing is impossible. My only small worry is about those new boys. But, I am very happy with their fitness and confidence levels, “said Loga. 

“Botswana defended gallantly in the reverse time and forced a goalless draw. But, the circumstances have changed. 

“One thing I know, which they will not do, is sit back and defend, this time around. They are on third place, in the group, and they need the points. 

“They will, obviously, try to attack and get a result against us before they fly to Algeria.’’

He said all the scenarios suited his men.

“We are very happy to have that open knowledge. When they attack, they will open up things and we have talented midfielders who can exploit the spaces created in their system,’’ said Loga. 

“So, this one is going to be a different game, especially given that they will not afford to sit back, at home. 

“They know they have to play an open game and they will open the space for us to exploit. 

“We are very flexible and we will see how we will adapt to the conditions and pattern of play. 

“We might be missing some of our key players but I believe in the courage that I have noticed in the boys we have in camp at the moment. 

“This is the opportunity for them to show what they can do and it’s up to them to exploit this chance they have been presented with.” 

The team conducted the first training session at Raylton Sports Club on Monday and, despite an uproar over the poor standard of the pitch, Loga said he was more concerned, and impressed, with the players’ fitness levels. 

“There are several key players who haven’t made it for the two games. But, I am happy with what I have seen so far,” said Logarusic. 

“There isn’t much time to prepare for the games but’ that is what it is and we have to do our best in these two matches so that we seal qualification. 

“Obviously, there is this issue of acclimatisation, which needs to be taken care of. 

“Due to the complications in travel, and the fact that some of my players had their club games on Monday night, they won’t have time to acclimatise. 

“But, that is part of the game and we need to adapt. We need to be compact and restrict the opponents as much as we can. 

“We can even afford to draw, and it will still be okay for us, we need to show that we are the Warriors and any player chosen to represent the team should fight for that badge.” Some players, including United States based defender Tendai Jirira and goalkeeper Martin Mapisa, Tanaka Chidhobha and Romario Matova could be making their senior appearances tomorrow.

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