Under fire Malawi coach remains upbeat

Beleaguered Malawi coach Kinnah Phiri is appealing for patience from Malawians, saying he will shape his squad to earn a qualification in the 2014 Brazil World Cup despite earning two consecutive draws in the campaign.

Malawi drew 0-0 to Kenya in Nairobi last weekend and failed to utilise a home ground advantage on Saturday to force a 1-1 draw against Nigeria. They now have two points.

Supporters who filled the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre clad in red colours and many others is replica jerseys of the Flames, called for the coach to stand down and chanted “Kinnah achoke! Kinnah achoke!”

But Malawi coach reporters after the game he still believes Malawi can qualify, “with a bit of luck of course”.

“We still have a good chance to qualify,” said the ever-upbeat Kinnah. “We still have a chance because we are in the early stages of the qualifiers.”

“We are still in it, we shouldn’t lose hope and we will be there,” he said.

Kinnah praised his charges for their never-die spirit, saying even after conceding in the dying minutes of the game, they “never gave up hope and fought for an equaliser.”

The coach said he will “work on finishing” to ensure the team does not waste scoring opportunities in the forthcoming games.

He denied handling the team with tough hands and defended his disciplinarian style.

The coach has come under heavy criticism over his selection and game tactics.

The coach said he knows Malawians are hurting but asked for some time, insisting he still has what it takes to turn the team around.

Fromm left to right: Malawi head coach Kinnah Phiri, assistant coach Young Chimodzi, team manager Stuart Mbolembole, golakeepers trainers Mc Hodges Chunga and team doctor Matthews Mangondo.Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times
Flames squad.Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times
Minister of Sport Enock Chihana (2nd from left) and FAM president Walter Nyamilandu singing Malawi national anthem before the match.Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times
Better draw than lose: Limbikani Mzava seems telling histeam mates after the game.Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times
The Super Eagles officials in disbelief after the last whistle. Photo by Jeromy Kadewere/Nyasa Times

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