Mannetti Comfortable With Home Ground Aantage

The Brave Warriors will relish their home ground aantage as they take on Congo in a 2015 Afcon preliminary qualifying match at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking at media briefing on Monday morning, Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti said he will be comfortable to play the first leg at home rather than to chase the score in the second leg away from home.

“Playing the first leg at home gives you an aantage and I am comfortable with playing at home rather than having to chase the fixture like we did against Mozambique in the CHAN qualifiers last year. Let us score at home and let Congo chase the tie when we go there at the end of the month,” Mannetti responded to a question on which leg he preferred.

The coach further stated that the team was gearing up well with 23 players which will be reduced to 18 before the weekend for the clash against Congo who arrive in Windhoek on Wednesday.

“The foreign-based players are arriving from today up to Wednesday and by the end of the week, we will reduce the squad to 18 players,” Mannetti said.

The Brave Warriors coach also explained the absence of called up players:

“Manfred (Starke) has withdrawn from the team citing a new coach at his club but I find the excuse not good enough and I expected him to be here and wear the national team jersey with pride. But nevertheless, the door is not closed for him, but I expected more from him. Henrico (Botes) is also out as he only recovered from a lengthy injury and I will consider him for the second leg depending on how he is then.”

“Pekka (Hamukwaya) just started a new job and cannot be released by his employers and hence his withdrawal which I understand. Other than that it is also important to inform you that Deon (Hotto) and Chris (Katjiukua) have been out with illnesses but they remain part of my plans when they are fit again,” he said.

Mannetti called on the Namibian nation to be fierce supporters of the Brave Warriors and make the atmosphere unbearable for the visitors on Saturday afternoon for the counter which will start at 16h00.

“The technical team and the players will make sure they (Congo) feel the animosity on the pitch and we expect the same from our supporters to come in numbers to support their national team and make the visitors feel that they are indeed visiting. We know the second leg will be tough and we must not let them be comfortable on the ball at all,” Mannetti said.

Source : The Namibian