’Let’s Give Them Hell!’

Ricardo Mannetti has called on Brave Warriors supporters to make Sam Nujoma Stadium a hostile arena for Congo Brazzaville on Saturday.

In fact, the visitors, who are expected in Windhoek on Tuesday, must be made to feel they are in a war zone from the moment they arrive in the country, he said.

That, coupled with the team’s performance, will help Namibia get off to a positive start in their 2015 Caf Africa Cup of Nations preliminary qualifier.

Mannetti said he wanted to witness a lively and carnival atmosphere more akin to a football stadium as opposed to a library.

“I can tell you now that when we go to Pointe-Noire for the second leg it will be hell,” Mannetti told reporters at a media conference yesterday. “It’s an open secret that they [Congo] specialise in making life difficult for visiting teams. It will be war when we get there. So why don’t we make it hell for Congo when they come here?”

The coach, whose ambition is to lead Namibia to the continental football spectacle in Morocco, promised that his charges will honour their end of the deal on match-day.

“I want Congo to feel the animosity in that stadium. We need the fans and the media to make it hell for Congo. My players will make it hell for them on the pitch,” said Mannetti, who roped in former Brave Warriors teammate and legend Mohammed Ouseb as second assistant to help bolster the technical team.

Mannetti will also be banking on the foreign-based legion, who form the team’s spine, to help raise the game of his exuberant home-based brigade.

Goalkeeper Virgil Vries, who has provided a reliable pair of hands for his club side Maritzburg United in recent months, and in-form teammate and playmaker Heinrich Isaacks were expected to make camp on Monday night.

Reliable captain Ronald Ketjijere of Amatuks and the Thailand-based duo of Lazarus Kaimbi and Tangeni Shipahu are all due to arrive on Tuesday.

Disrupted formula

Mannetti’s plans have been hampered somewhat by the absence of key players for varying reasons.

He opted not to call-up experienced target-man Henrico Botes of South African Premiership side Platinum Stars as the striker has only recently recovered from “niggling injuries”.

Defender Chris Katjiukua and utility-man Deon Hotto, who also ply their trade with Golden Arrows in South Africa, have also been exempted from the team due to illness and injury respectively.

Meanwhile, Germany-based midfielder Manfred Starke, who has opted to snub his call-up in favour of impressing his new coach Dirk Lottner at Hansa Rostock, has drawn the ire of Mannetti.

The coach has questioned the player’s loyalty given that the season is almost coming to an end.

“For me his reason is weak. I feel disrespected. One week [away from Rostock] will make no difference. I expected that he would come and help us in this situation,” said Mannetti.

“I don’t work with punishment but this will make it difficult to bring Manfred back into the team. I expected that he would come and wear his country’s jersey with pride.”

Source : The Namibian