Malawi coach Kinnah Phiri: I have strategy to stop Nigeria

The Flames' trainer tells that he has a special plan to curtail their more established opponents during Saturday's encounter in Blantyre


By Peter Kanjere in Blantyre

Malawi’s Flames coach Kinnah Phiri has declared total war on the Super Eagles of Nigeria ahead of this Saturday’s World Cup qualifier at Kamuzu Stadium in the commercial capital, Blantyre City.

 Speaking to Nigeria on Monday after returning from Kenya where the Flames drew 0-0 with the Harambee Stars, Phiri said his charges are in battle mood.

 "We have a special strategy for them [Nigeria]. Let them come. We are very ready for them. The fact that we have not won in four games is no cause for worry. We have enough days in training to work on this," he said.

The Malawi coach is wearing a brave face despite having not won in four consecutive matches, including three friendly matches against China (2-2), Zanzibar (1-1) and Tanzania (0-0) in the build-up to the Kenya trip.

"We will incorporate in the team some three players [Chiukepo Msowoya, Harry Nyirenda and Robert Ng’ambi] who were not part of the team in Kenya. We hope Chiukepo will solve our problems of not putting away the chances," Phiri said.

Nigeria beat Namibia 1-0 on Sunday to assume control of Group F which has Malawi and Kenya sharing a point each on second and third place respectively. The Brave Warriors of Namibia anchor the group. Only one team will make it to the next qualifying round of the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil campaign.

Told that talk in Nigeria camp is that the Super Eagles are coming to Blantyre for a win, Kinnah laughed off such talk.

"Let them come and see what we have to offer them. They cannot talk of beating us at home when they were struggling at home against Namibia. This is a totally different battle," the Malawi coach insisted.

Under Kinnah since 2008 Malawi has never faced Nigeria in any competition but the Malawi trainer said he had an idea of what to expect from the Stephen Keshi side.

"I was a team manager when we drew 2-2 with Nigeria at the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ivory Coast. I also watched them when they beat Malawi 1-0 at the Kamuzu Stadium in 2003, so I know what they are capable of," he summed up.

John Utaka who scored that lone goal in Blantyre is back in the present Nigeria squad.