18 January 2013

Zambia: Afcon 2013 - Zambia Ready to Defend

Zambia's coach Herve Renard believes Zambia is in better shape than last year, as they prepare to defend the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

The Zambians kick off their campaign on 21 January against Ethiopia, on the back of three defeats and a draw in their warm-up games.

"But Renard, who guided the team to their first Nations Cup last year, is happy with his side's build-up.

"I think we are better than last year at the same stage," he said.

"But look what happened then - we had nothing to show for ourselves and we won the tournament.

"I am lucky to have such a squad."

Zambia drew 0-0 with fellow finalists Morocco in a friendly in Johannesburg last week, halting a three-match losing streak, following defeats by Angola, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania.

Renard, however, claims he is not worried by the side's poor run of results in their warm-up games.

"The game against Angola was a last-minute friendly. We were in the same hotel and scheduled the game one day before only, with all 23 players being fielded at some point," he said.

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