Positive Avram Grant Targets Strong Start Against DR Congo
Chipolopolo coach Avram Grant is aiming for a strong opening performance as Zambia faces the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in their first fixture of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference, Grant acknowledged the strength of the DRC team but expressed confidence in his squad’s preparation. He emphasized the tough nature of their group, including strong opponents like Congo, and highlighted the importance of displaying a good team performance.
Grant, the former Ghana coach who reached the AFCON final in 2015, stressed the significance of a strong start, even in the tournament’s extended format. He stated that while nothing would be decided after the first game, opening the tournament with a positive performance is crucial.
Despite lacking extensive AFCON experience, with only veterans Stoppila Sunzu and captain Lubambo Musonda having participated in the tournament before, Grant believes in the balance and unity of his team. He emphasized their focus on playing as a cohesive unit, considering it a key strength.
Zambia, placed in Group F alongside Morocco, Tanzania, and the DRC, faces a challenging path to continental glory. Grant’s confidence is rooted in the progress made since his appointment in 2022, which includes qualifying for the tournament after three consecutive misses.
The youthful Chipolopolo Boys have an opportunity to showcase their determination for success as they take on the DRC on Wednesday night. Kick-off is scheduled for 22:00 Zambian time.