Windhoek-Brave Warriors under fire coach Ricardo Mannetti knows that not even victory in the less glamorous Plate Section of the Cosafa Senior Challenge will save his job following Namibia’s early exit from the tournament proper at the hands of regional minnows Lesotho in their opening match.
Clearly under pressure to salvage some lost pride, Mannetti has hinted at making wholesale changes to the Warriors’ starting eleven that trotted onto the field against Lesotho when his boys confront Swaziland later today in a meaningless semifinal of the Plate Section.
Namibia will compete in the Plate Section for the second time running after going down 5-4 on the dreaded penalty shootout against a youthful Lesotho side in the quarterfinals last Saturday.
The unexpected defeat has prompted dissatisfaction with the attitude of some of his trusted soldiers and he has vowed to make changes to the squad, as his team will try by all means to retain the Plate.
“I was not happy with some of the players’ attitude and overall approach on Saturday and would therefore be obliged to effect changes to the team for today’s clash against Swaziland. Of course, we had problems with preparations but that is a well-known scenario but we should have achieved a far better result.
“In the face of that, I’ve resolved to bring in new players with one eye on the upcoming CHAN (African Nations Championship) qualifier slated for next week. I will give more local players a chance to play against Swaziland,” Mannetti said.
Meanwhile, utility defender Chris Katjiukua has been released from the camp as Mannetti seeks to assess other players for the centre- back position ahead of the CHAN qualifier.
“I’ve also called up Tigers’ Benyamin Nenkavu, who will start on the substitutes’ bench for the Swazi match. It’s also normal that if the team does not perform to expectations you effect appropriate amends to get the desired result.”
African Stars’ lanky goalie Lloyd Kazapua is likely to get the nod ahead of Virgil Vries between the sticks, while fringe squad members such as Riaan Hanamub, Mashaba Karongee, Oswaldo Xamseb and Dynamo Fredericks are in line to be given rare starts.
Today’s match will be played at the Moruleng Stadium at 18h30 and victory against the unpredictable Silangu could set a up a clash against either hosts Bafana Bafana or Botswana Zebras in the final of the Plate Section, on Friday at the same venue.
The Warriors are scheduled to host eternal rivals Zimbabwe in their opening match of the CHAN 2018 qualifiers at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on July 16 with the decisive return leg slated for Harare a week later.