HARARE – Former Zimbabwe national team coaches Sunday Chidzambwa and Rahman Gumbo have backed the Warriors to succeed when they embark on the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification journey.
The Warriors will begin their Group G campaign with a home tie against Liberia at the National Sports Stadium this Sunday.
Preparations for the game went into full swing this week following the arrival of almost all players called for duty.
Chidzambwa, who captained the national team in his heyday back in the 80s before leading the Warriors to their first ever Afcon tournament in 2004, feels interim coach Norman Mapeza has assembled a competitive side.
Chidzambwa earlier this week visited the team’s training session at Yadah Hotel where they are preparing for the clash against the Lone Stars.
“I think the coach has done a good job by selecting some of the best players that we currently have in the country,” Chidzambwa said.
“I think they just need to go out there and express themselves by doing what they know best. I think they need to fight for a good result. We are all behind them and I just want to wish them good luck.”
The ZPC Kariba coach thinks it is crucial for the Warriors to start their campaign with a win as it will set the tone for the remaining matches.
“I think it’s important that we win our first game because it will definitely set the tone going forward,” he said.
“We have just come as part of the High Performance Committee to offer them support and from what I am seeing I think they will do well.”
Gumbo, who presided over the Warriors’ failed Afcon 2013 qualification campaign, also concurred with Chidzambwa.
“My advice for the boys is that they will have to win their first game not necessarily putting themselves under pressure but to go out there and enjoy themselves,” the Chicken Inn coach said.
“They are playing at home and it is important to start on a positive note. So I think the best thing is to go out for a win. I think these are the best players we have in the country and it’s just a matter of the coaches getting the best out of them.”
The Warriors will have to negotiate a tricky passage to be at the 2019 Afcon finals in Cameroon after there were pooled in Group G that also includes DR Congo and Congo.