2012 NATIONS CUP: EAGLES' ABSENCE EXCITES ZAMBIA'S COACH
Chipolopolo of Zambia chief coach, Herve Renard, has lamented the failure of the Super Eagles to participate in the 2012 African Nations Cup, describing it as a shame.
He, however, admitted that the absence of Eagles would be a blessing in disguise for his Zambian team.
Renard, who spoke during a post match conference after losing to the Super Eagles in Kaduna, jokingly noted that he would no longer entertain any fear if his team gets to the quarterfinal of the tournament, advising that now would be an opportunity for the head coach of the Eagles to reposition the team.
'It is a shame that Nigeria, one of the biggest football nation in African, will be missing in the tournament.
But such is the nature of football. For me, sometimes it is good to miss a tournament like that to lay a good foundation.
'Now that we are playing without Nigeria, we are sure we won't play against Nigeria if we get to the quarterfinals. It would be a blessing in disguise for us. Nigeria must, however, fight to get the next qualification in 2013,' he said.
Speaking on the friendly, Renard, said: 'We did not come here to win but to play very good quality friendly game. We used 18 players because I have not seen these players for a very long time and it is a very good time to know the quality of the team.
'We met a very strong team and we almost equalised in the second half because we played well but we could not score. We did not win the match but I was able to see what I wanted to see in the team. I want to note that we are starting the preparation for the African Nations Cup,' he added.
Comparing the Eagles he played in Angola and the current squad, the Chipolopolo coach, quipped; 'The truth is that it will be very difficult to compare a team for a competitive match and friendly match.
In friendly games, we are at liberty to use many players but it is not like that in an official game especially in a competition like Nations Cup and at quarterfinal stage. They are completely different.