Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti is still hopeful of fielding two South African based players Ananias Gebhardt and Denzil Haoseb for their Cosafa Cup quarterfinal match against Zambia in Polokwane on Saturday.
The two players have been involved in promotion-relegation matches with their club Jomo Cosmos, which still has one match left on Saturday, against Platinum Stars. The match, however, is insignificant as Black Leopards have already clinched promotion to the Premier Soccer League and Mannetti said he hoped their negotiations would be successful.
“We are still hopeful, because we are still negotiating with Jomo Cosmos. Platinum Stars made it clear that Wangu Gome will not be made available, but we are busy negotiating with Cosmos, so we might get a surprise and include our two players there into the squad,” he said.
The Brave Warriors held a training session on Friday afternoon where they went through some tactical aspects and Mannetti said they were ready for the match.
“The last few days was just tactics, tactics and more tactics. We were at the Pretoria High Performance Centre and before that we focussed more on the physical conditioning at home. So when we arrived in Pretoria we focussed more on the tactical aspect of the game and now we are just wrapping up and we are ready to go.”
Regarding the Zambian squad that has been selected, Mannetti said Zambia had a lot of depth and would start the match as the favourites.
“Zambia has so much depth and whatever team they come up with is just as good as the other team and we are not taking it lightly whatsoever, even though the stats have been on our side over the past four or five years.
They are still a giant in the region, they have won more Cosafa Cups than us, so that still makes them the favourites, going into the game, but we are so positive and prepared very well to make sure that we get a victory tomorrow,” he said.
“I think the players are confident and they are calm, and its definitely better than last year when the mentality was not good. This year it’s a different situation, it’s more positive and I like that – with positivity you can move mountains and we expect to surprise a lot of people once more,” he added.