Fear not in our vocabulary, says Malawi coach

Malawi coach Kinnah Phiri has described their penultimate 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tunisia at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on Saturday as a final but said the Flames have nothing to fear.

“We have nothing to fear as we are playing at home. We cannot afford to underrate the Tunisians though. They are a good opposition,” he said in remarks quoted on Confederation of African Football (Caf) website.

The Flames need nothing short of victory to boost their chances of qualification at the January 21-February 12 Cup of Nations with co-hosts Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

“This is a very crucial game. We are treating this game as a final,” Kinnah said.

Kinnah Phiri: We have no reason to fear Tunisia

“Whoever wins this game can as well start preparing for a trip to the Africa Cup of Nations finals, so this will be a special game for both teams,” he said

The Malawian coach said despite poor preparation with no international strength testing match, the Flames were determined to do well.

“We are going to work extremely hard against Tunisia and make sure that they feel that they have found us at our home ground. We will make sure we neutralise them as we know they can be dangerous if you play a direct game,” said Kinnah who led Malawi to the last Nations Cup two years ago.

Talking on the tactics of the game, Malawi coach pointed out that Tunisians are very good in midfield “so the game will be won or lost in midfield and we are very mindful of this fact.”

He said: “We understand that one of their outstanding midfielders will not be available for the game and we have a plan of dealing with them. We have equally good and tough players who can soak up the pressure.”

Kinnah, meanwhile, appealed to Malawians to “come in their numbers as always” and give the Flames vociferous support throughout the entire game.

“We need the support of every Malawian in this crucial encounter,” he appealed.

Botswana have already qualified as Group K winners but with five teams in the pool, the runners-up are also guaranteed a place at the finals.

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