Work cut out for new Zambia coach Milutin Sredojevic
Sredojevic was appointed as Zambia coach two weeks ago after leaving his role in Egypt with Zamalek
Newly-appointed Zambia coach Milutin Sredojevic is prepared for a tough induction as Chipolopolo coach as he prepares his team for the African Nations Championship (Chan), in Cameroon, scheduled for April 4 to 25.
Sredojevic was appointed as Zambia coach two weeks ago after leaving his role in Egypt with Zamalek and he will have just under two months to get his side ready and kicking for the tournament.
By his own admission, the former Rwanda and Uganda head coach expects a tough start at the tournament in Cameroon with the Chipolopolo drawn in Group D with Namibia, Guinea and Tanzania.
“It is a quality group. We think we are part of a very competitive group because every team we look at is from the perspective of the local league. And the specific case, they are local players,” said Sredojevic.
“We represent the Zambian Premier League and we think we have what it takes to get through the group,” the Serbian boss said after the draw in Yaounde on Monday.
Looking at the individual teams in the group, the coach believes they will need to be at their best even as he reiterates their maiden ambition is to qualify off the group stages and into the knockout phases.
“We respect the strength of the Tanzanian Premier League with Simba who reached the Champions League quarterfinals last year. Yanga does just as well in the Champions League. Namibia is also a good team. In 2013 in Morocco, Namibia was in the same group as Zambia and qualified for the quarterfinals.
“And then there is the Guinea team that we are looking at through the lens of the very strong Horoya team. The Guinean league is very tough, talented, tough and competitive. It is in our interest to prepare each match well and to consider it each time as a final.”
Sredojevic is not new to the Chan tournament, having coached Uganda at the 2014 and 2016 tournaments when he led the side to third place group stage finishes in both. In 2016 coincidentally, he played against Zambia, his new employers and lost by a solitary goal.
Zambia are playing in the Chan tournament for the fourth time and their best-ever performance was a semi-final appearance in 2009 when they ended up finishing third.
They will open up their 2020 campaign against Tanzania who are making a return to the tournament for the first time since 2009.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo