Head Coach of the Zambia national team, Herve Renard, has warned Nigeria and other big names in African football that they will have the African champions to reckon with at the coming 2013 African Cup of Nations slated for next month in South Africa.
The Chipolopolo of Zambia coach yesterday won the Coach of the Year award at the awards ceremony held at the Banquet Hall, Ghana State House, Accra, Ghana.
Renard warned Nigeria and other big names in African football to beware of the southern African team, adding that the side will do their utmost to retain the title that they won two years ago.
“I want Nigeria and the so-called big countries in Africa to know that they will not find it easy at the coming nations cup. It will be very tough for all of them because we are not ready to surrender our title to any of them.
He added: “We are working very hard for the tournament and we will go to any length to retain the cup in January. We are the defending champions and it will be tough for Nigeria and their likes when they play us in South Africa.”
Renard, however, said that his team will not underestimate the Super Eagles at the championship, adding that the Zambians will use the meeting to avenge their loss to Nigeria in Tunisia ‘94.
“We will not handle Nigeria with kid gloves this time round because it will be an opportunity for us to avenge what they did to us in Tunisia ‘94. They defeated us in the final which prevented us from lifting the trophy at the tournament.
“We know that Nigeria will come as a wounded lion to this edition and we are ready for them. They will want to use this edition to prove that they are still a force to reckon with in African football,” Renard added.