We are not happy too, Flames players ready to face Egypt
Flames in-stand Captain, John CJ Banda says the players are feeling the way the fans are feeling after suffering two successive defeats against Guinea and Egypt.
John Banda who plays for Moçambola Liga Champions, UD Songo made the remarks in Lilongwe during the pre-match press briefing saying that the players are not happy with the results from the last two games.
Meanwhile, Banda who accompanied Coach Marinica to the press briefing has appealed for support from the Football fraternity as they take on the Pharaohs, Egypt this afternoon at the Bingu National Stadium.
Malawi now must win the game against Egypt to keep their hope of securing tickets to Ivory Coast for the TotalEnergies African Cup Of Nations alive as a win for the visitors will place them 6 points clear of Flames, level on points with Guinea who defeat Ethiopia’s Walyas 3-2 on Monday evening.
“We feel the same as you are feeling,” said Banda. “If you are not happy with the results, we are not too. We lost the first game [in Egypt], but we do receive money for winning the games, so if we lost, we are not happy. We are issuing an apology for the loss in Egypt as things didn’t go as planned. It wasn’t worse but we made many mistakes.
“We are ready for the game and every player is ready for the encounter.
“Don’t abandon us, we are not happy too with the way things are but a game against Egypt will be the beginning of new life. We are aware of the importance of the match.”
Taking his turn, Mario Marian Marinica says the Flames still stand a chance of qualifying for the TotalEnergies African Cup Of Nations even if the results go against them on Tuesday but it will depend on the results in other games.
Mario whose team sits third with 3 points from three games said he is positive that his charges are ready for the game and three points from the game remain the main target for the team.
“Am positive that we have prepared to collect three points on Tuesday. Even, for example, tomorrow’s game doesn’t go out way, which I think cannot happen, [because] we have prepared to collect three points, we will still have two games to play, that’s six points.
“With 9 points, we will still qualify and it’s not things all lost depending on the outcomes of the other matches. But that can be discussed on a later day but we can’t speculate on what gonna happens in future
The 58-year-old Romanian mentor said the atmosphere in the dressing room is calm, and ready for the game despite issues of players boycotting training.
“It’s like a family, and family sometimes you have discrepancies and you just have to put everything in order and to move on which I think has been done and now [we] are on the right track. We need to work hard, work as a team, be determined, be aggressive, and to be to take points,” summed up Mario.
Continuing with taking questions from journalists in Lilongwe, Mario said he doesn’t believe in pressure.
“Honestly, I don’t believe in pressure, [pressure] is a state of mind. Yes there are now things, but we you have to see what it is, we just have to be composed because people who are under pressure, they start making mistakes,” he was quoted.
14 years ago, Chiukepo Msowoya jumped off the bench to score a memorable goal as the Flames beat Egypt 1-0 at the Kamuzu Stadium in the first leg but Two weeks later the Pharaohs beat Malawi 2-0.
Egypt have never won in Malawi in three games with two losses and a draw in their pockets, should they beat Flames this afternoon, it will be their first time flying back home with maximum points.