We are ready for Kenya - Malawi coach Phiri
Malawi national team “Flames’ ” head coach Kinnah Phiri is expecting a fiesty contest against hosts Kenya in Saturday’s 2014 World Cup qualifying match at Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani. Phiri says his troops will be up for the fight when the two sides clash and his looking forward to an entertaining match. Phiri spoke to Cafonline.com upon Malawi’s arrival in Kenya from Tanzania where they played two build-up matches against the hosts and Zanzibar.
Cafonline.com: What is your take on Saturday’s game against Kenya?
Phiri: Kenya is a very good team, very tactical and we have enough respect for them. We have played them several times and they are not a team to be taken lightly. The last time we played against them was during CECAFA and though we won the match, they were a tough opposition. This is going to be a good match. We want to give Saturday’s match our 100 percent concentration because we are aiming to take back home a win from this match.
Cafonline.com: Would you say you have had ample prepared for this match?
Phiri: I think yes is the answer to that question. We have prepared well and have been working on different combinations. We played Tanzania in a friendly that ended goalless and am satisfied that we picked lots of positives from the build up because I used it to assess the mixture of locally based and professionals. It was the first time they were playing together after a long time. I was also impressed because I managed to rotate the squad and worked out new approaches with regards to playing away matches and from what I have seen, it is good preparation for the Kenya game.
Cafonline.com: How do you see your Group that include Nigeria, Kenya and Namibia?
Phiri: It is not a difficult group because all teams are beatable. We have played bigger teams before and we have come out tops. People might look at Nigeria and think it is the team to beat in the group but that is not the case. We are going to fight till the end and I’m confident that we will navigate our way to the top.
Cafonline.com: What is your game plan for the match?
Phiri: Right now I cannot disclose what I will do or not do against Kenya tomorrow (Saturday). All I can say is anticipate a wonderful match. We want to start by winning and that is the only way to stay in contention.
Cafonline.com: Malawi have a better record against Kenya in international matches. Will it count for anything come Saturday?
Phiri: I was in charge of the team that beat Kenya 2-0 in Tanzania during the Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) tournament and remember vividly how difficult it was to break them (Kenya) down. I strongly believe that a lot has changed since then and we must expect a different game from Kenya. We are not in Nairobi for past records nor are we here us tourists, we came for maximum points and that is what we must achieve on Saturday.
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