Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) has said he expects a better performance when his charges line up against Togo’s Hawks today in a friendly match at Agadia Stadium in Agadia, Morocco.
The match kicks off at 4pm Malawi time.
Malawi played out a one-all draw against Morocco Under-23 side on Friday while the Hawks beat Niger 2-0 on Thursday night.
Togo are buoyed by their Turkish-based classy forward Emmanuel Adebayor, but RVG and his captain Limbikani ‘Pupa’ Mzava said they are not losing sleep over with his presence.
Said RVG: “Adebayor is a good player, but our focus is on our game plan and approach.
“His availability should provide an opportunity to my players to show that they are ready for the big stage by playing to the best of their ability without necessarily having a fear factor about Adebayor.
“We have an analysis of Togo from their match against Algeria in June, they are tall so they like playing long balls and pounce on second balls to give them an edge.”
The Flames mentor said after recovering from jetlag, he expects an improved performance.
“We had two days to adapt and recover so we should be ready. My expectation is that we will be better and that we can play from the first minute by making fast decisions and positive one-two touches.
“I am certain that after a two days’ rest, they will be fresh and raring to go,” he said.
RVG also hinted at making some changes from the line-up that started on Friday.
“Obviously, there will be some changes because we need to give other players a chance and see how they perform. We will make some few changes and also the system and appoach so as to suit the opponent from 3-4-3 to 4-3-3.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Frank Banda has been taken ill and is ruled out.
On his part, Mzava said: “This will be another tough match because we have a number of new players in the team.
“So, we cannot expect an easy game against a strong side like Togo who have brought their full-strength squad in the likes of Adebayor.
“But much as we respect them, we do not fear them and I think it will be the perfect stage for the new young players that they are ready to play at top level. It is all in their hands,” he said.
The Togolese coaching panel watched part of the Flames match on Friday.
The last time the two teams met was in 2011 when Malawi won 1-0. n