Ricardo Mannetti reckons the Brave Warriors’ time in Gambia has boosted their harmony and are ready for the crucial first leg of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Preliminary Round match in Gambia on Friday at 19h00.
Mannetti called up 18 players who are all in good shape, according to him, as the match-day approaches in which the Brave Warriors need to get at least a favourable result to take back home for the second leg on Tuesday at the Sam Nujoma stadium.
“Our early arrival here since Sunday and Monday has helped with team harmony. For an way game you need to have the good team spirit and right frame of mind and these few days have helped with that. Otherwise, the boys are focused and they know what is at stake. We have been here for some time now and it helped us to recover well after all the flying to get here. It won’t be an easy game and it is not an easy opposition and we will play to win in both games against Gambia,” Mannetti said.
The team will however be without the injured Peter Shalulile who led the attacking line against Senegal in the 2017 AFCON qualifier in Windhoek. Shalulile withdrew on the eve of the team announcement last week. But coach Mannetti revealed that the former Tura Magic man might be around for the Tuesday clash in Windhoek.
“Peter has started with training already and will play a friendly match this weekend and depending on how he reacts, he will join the team for the return leg at home. We need to have all our form players and without a doubt Peter will add value to the team if he is available. But for now, the first match is very important and we are fully focused on it,” said Mannetti.
The coach will announce the starting line-up for the match on Friday morning with the match billed for 17h00 Gambian time and 19h00 Namibian time. The Brave Warriors will return home on Sunday.