Hands off my players, says Mannetti … owns up to team’s embarrassing display 

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Treading a thin line… Beleaguered Brave Warriors head coach Ricardo Mannetti.

 

Windhoek

Under fire Brave Warriors head coach Bucksy Mannetti has owned up to the team’s lacklustre performance during the shock 3-1 defeat at home against lowly ranked Burundi in their second leg 2017 AFCON Group K Qualifier at the Sam Nujoma stadium in Windhoek on Tuesday.

The defeat all but sealed the Warriors’ fate, reducing any slim hopes they might have entertained about carving themselves a place in the 29th edition of the bi-annual continental showpiece to be staged in Gabon next year.

“I take full responsibility as the captain of the ship for the defeat and all I’m asking is for the critics to leave my players alone and put the blame on my shoulders. It was a night to forget, where things just fell apart for the entire team. After a great result in Burundi last Saturday we should have done better than the result we got today”, charged a clearly dejected Mannetti.

Tuesday’s unexpected loss saw the Namibians relinquish second spot to Burundi, their victims before going into Tuesday’s clash. The tiny central African country now occupies second spot, with six points behind runaway leaders Senegal, who have already qualified for the finals with 12 points, courtesy of their 2-1 triumph against Niger in Tuesday’s other action.

Namibia has shifted to the bottom and holds the wooden spoon in the four-team group, with a paltry three points from a possible 12, after four rounds of matches.

The Warriors will entertain 3rd placed Niger on June 3-5, before completing their assignment with a match away from home against runaway group leaders Senegal in September. Both ties are fixtures of convenience.

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