Monday May 16, 2016. 11:53
Malawi national team coach Ernest Mtawali believes there are no small teams in the upcoming 2016 Cosafa Castle Cup, adding that they are prepared to go and fight for the title.
Speaking to the Cosafa website, the former Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates midfielder revealed that the key for them is to first bag a wins over Angola and Mauritius.
The Flames of Malawi have been drawn against Mauritius, Angola and Lesotho in Group B and will have to be at their best if they were to reach the knock-out stages of the competition.
Malawi were booted out of the tournament in the last eight by Mozambique on penalties in South Africa last year, and Mtawali will again be relying on the same players.
“There are no small teams and no easy draws in football these days so the draw we have is a tough one,” Mtawali is quoted as saying by the Cosafa official website.
“But it is something we are prepared for and we will be ready to go there and compete.
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“Most of the squad that was in South Africa last year will be with us again, they did well so we don’t need to change much. We will add in some young players to give them experience of the tournament.
“This time round we have to play three games just to reach the quarter-finals but Namibia showed last year how that can help you to build momentum and gel as a team.
“That is something we can look to as a positive. The key for us is to start with a positive result against Angola [on June 12] and then carry that forward to play well against Mauritius [June 14] and Lesotho [June 16].
“If we do then make it into the quarterfinals, anything can happen. We know South Africa will be waiting there for us and obviously they are a very good national team.”
The tournament will be staged in Namibia, Windhoek from June 11-25 where Ricardo Mannetti's side will hope to defend the title they won last year.