Malawi national team head coach Ernest Mtawali has urged Malawians to be less “obsessed” with veteran players and has refused to guarantee Platinum Stars midfielder Robert Ng’ambi a place in his first-choice Wrld Cup qualifiers line-up to face Tanzania.
Mtawali has warned all players need to produce good form to be guaranteed a place in the starting line up.
He was responding to the recent public outburst by Ng’ambi after warming the bench for the entire 90 minutes during the two-all-draw in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland a fortnight ago.
Mtawali told a news conference at Chiwembe Technical Centre on that he will only call a player based on his form and discipline.
“Robert Ng’ambi is one of the best midfielder we have had in Malawi. He has been influential for the team and I called him because of his leadership skills and discipline. “ don’t want to talk about him but all I can say is that nobody is guaranteed a place in my first line up. Players have to fight for it,” Mtawali said.
He also said all veteran players are not guaranteed a place and need to stay on their toes.
“Evey player has to produce good form – no one is guaranteed a place in the the Flames.The door is not shut. If a player is in good form, he will be called into the team,” added Mtawali.
Mtawali placed hope on new crop if players like Fisd Wizard’s Levison Maganizo and Mighty Wanderers’s Kondwani Kumwenda, saying they are performing well.
“Overall, the players are in a very good shape. I am very impressed with Levison Maganizo and Kondwani Kumwenda as well as Deus Mkutu. Their performance is very good and everything is going according to the plans,” he said
Malawi is preparing for the 2018 World Cup qualification first-round tie away against the neighbours on October 7 with the second leg set for Kamuzu Stadium five days later.
The Flames and other 25 teams, from position 28 to 53 according to July Fifa ranking, will participate in the first round with 13 winners advancing to the second round. If successful against Tanzania, Malawi will face North Africans Algeria in second round.
The 13 teams then join 27 top-ranked teams on the continent to play home-and-away over two legs with the 20 winners advancing to the third round.
The 20 teams will be divided into five groups of four teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches and five group winners will qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has since announced that the Flames will depart for Tanzania on 4 October.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :