By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Zambia’s head coach, Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has opened up on the injury status of Red Bull Salzburg hit-man, Patson Daka saying his technical bench has enough cover in the absence of the red-hot striker.
Speaking to the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) media team, Micho says rather than cry about the likely absence of the Red Bull Salzburg striker, his technical team will come up with a plan that will see Zambia excel in the crucial back-to-back qualifiers against Botswana next month.
Micho has been in touch with Daka and the striker has the national dream at heart even in distress. The Serb says winning in the back-to-back qualifiers would be the best medicine to expedite the healing process for Daka.
“We have been talking to him every day especially after that injury,” said the man dubbed the Serbian Wolf.
“And we have got a sense of a Zambian with a patriotic heart, soul and desire that the team plays well without him as his soul and mind is focussed on the road to recovery,”
“Zambians have no reasons to expect me to cry about that unfortunate situation that happened to Patson Daka.”
“We should all give total support to Daka to recover as soon as possible and we should rather focus on other available players that will wear the Zambian scoring boots in the double-header against Botswana,” Micho added.
Daka limped off in Red Bull Salzburg’s 3-2 loss to Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League with a hamstring injury that is likely to rule him out of the Botswana clashes.
Micho takes solace in the goal haulage Zambia has had in the five matches he has steered the Chipolopolo ship.
“Between October 7and 25, we played five international friendly matches and we scored 10 goals,” said the former Uganda Cranes coach.
“Meaning we scored two goals per match on average and this is what we were trying to get as plan B in case Daka and other professional players are not available.”
“The best respect and support for Daka’s recovery would be that we play our matches and get results that would be his medicine to recover because he has watched all our five games and seen his brothers serve the country.,” he added.
The Serbian is in wary of the Zebras’ prowess that has seen them keep a tight defence under Adel Amrouche.
“The Botswana game will not be a walk in the park. They are a very good side that has not conceded more than one goal in five matches under Amrouche.”
“They have highly talented players and we cannot afford to take them lightly,” he noted.
Micho has presided over six matches which have ended in five wins and one loss for the Chipolopolo.
He started his reign with a 1-0 win over Malawi on March 12 and repeated the same feat at National Heroes Stadium on October 7 before proceeding to Kenya where Zambia controversially lost 2-1 during the FIFA window.
The next challenge was a 2-1 win over Bafana Bafana before two back-to-back wins against Ethiopia.
Zambia hosts Botswana on November 12 before traveling to Francistown for the return leg four days later.
This post was initially published by kick442.com and reproduced under license as an official media partner.