COPPER Queens coach Bruce Mwape says the two friendlies against Colombia will be a positive start to the 2023 Australia/New Zealand FIFA World Cup preparations.Zambia face Colombia on November 12 and 15 in Cali.
The team regrouped in Lusaka on Sunday and had the first training session at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka yesterday morning ahead of departure for Cali .
Mwape said in an interview that the two friendlies will help the technical bench assess players before they start the final phase of the World Cup preparations.“The whole idea is to look at some of the new players.
We just want to see how fit our players are before we start the final preparations for the World Cup,” Mwape said.“We have told them to take the games seriously because these are high-profile friendlies, so if they relax, I don’t think people will be happy with them, so they just need to be serious and make sure we win the games to encourage and motivate them.”
The Copper Queens are in Group C with Spain, Japan and Costa Rica.Mwape said playing Colombia will be a good test especially being in the same group with Costa Rica.“
We want to see the tactics they are using so we can use them at the World Cup especially against Costa Rica. I hope they will use all the players they have because they might use the second team but our main concern is just to see how our players have picked up.
Moving forward, we need three or four high-profile friendlies against European teams since we have Spain in the group,” he said.Mwape last week named a 32-member squad that includes six foreign-based players and some new faces.