Herve Renard hints that Collins Mbesuma will play at Afcon 2013
Posted: 15 November 2012 Time: 2:41 pm
Orlando Pirates striker Collins Mbesuma is ‘sometimes a very small baby that needs help’, but appears to have now done enough to win his place in the Zambian squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
This is the view of Zambian coach Herve Renard after he was questioned on how he feels about the fitness levels of the forward, who netted the winner against Bafana Bafana with a thunderbolt last night.
“I am always honest with a player and in the 2012 Afcon finals he was not fit enough to play in the first XI,” says Renard.
“That means he was a bit disappointed, but as a player you can only help yourself. I think when he signed for Orlando Pirates it was a good move for him and he has already scored important goals. So I am very happy with him because Collins is a very good guy.
“Sometimes he is a very small baby and he needs help. I hope he is on the right track and I am sure he is on the right track because we need him,” says the Frenchman, adding that team spirit is what has carried Chipolopolo during his tenure as Zambian coach.
“It always very important to have team spirit; at times what matters more is not how long you have been playing together, but rather the team spirit. The strength of this squad is team spirit,” he says.
Renard also makes it no secret that they will be coming to South Africa confident that they can defend their title as African champions.
“I am honestly telling you that we are hungry and we still want to win more and we are coming here to defend our title. We will not give up and we know it will not be easy to take our title and if someone is stronger than we will congratulate his team and after that we will have another target which is to go to the 2014 World Cup.
“I am very proud of this team one more time because they are never lazy to even take a friendly game seriously. Sometimes the players are not so motivated for friendly matches, but [last night] I saw the same spirit that we saw at the Afcon.
“It was important because we were lucky to play in this fantastic stadium, you saw a lot of Zambian people and since it is almost a year now we are very proud of what we did. Even if it’s a friendly game to us this was a game that forms part of our preparations for the Afcon … we want to be ready for our first game against Ethiopia on January 21.”