Flames coach Meck Mwase says qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Cameroon next month is his realistic target.
He said this in an interview with Cosafa Show when he was asked about his expectations at the continental showpiece.
Mwase said: “We are still a young team and still learning, but we are very confident that we are going to do well in the finals in Cameroon.
“Since we have been there twice before, we have not qualified for the quarter-finals and this is what we are fighting for.
“We would like to finish in the semi-finals or even the final. You never know in football.”
“We hope the boys will give their all, for themselves as well as for Malawi.”
The Flames gaffer said he has the respect for all the teams that have qualified.
“All the teams are very strong, in football you don’t know what will happen. But what we are going to do is fight for ourselves and see how far we can go,” Mwase said.
Meanwhile, South Africa-based Flames captain Limbikani Mzava has also told kickoff.com that they are hoping to recover from the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifiers’ disappointment and do well.
He said: “It’s not an easy group, but I feel like we are a well-oiled side and we will compete very well. You have to go there with no fear and believe in what you are trying to achieve. But to achieve that, we must prepare well.”
The Flames skipper also said he is looking forward to the opportunity to test himself against Senegal forward Sadio Mane who plays for Liverpool in the English Premiership.
“I will be playing against someone who is at the very top of the game, it is going to be interesting. He is going to know I am there,” he said.
During the Kuipatsa Moto Flames VVIP Fundraising Dinner in Lilongwe on Saturday, President Lazarus Chakwera challenged the Flames to defy the odds and perform beyond expectations.
Football Association of Malawi president Walter Nyamilandu said the Flames are geared to shine at Afcon finals.
He said: “Despite the negativity towards the Flames’ poor showing in the just-ended World Cup qualifiers, we are determined to bounce back.
“It is a moment to treasure because it has been a tough road and long wait to qualification since 2010.
“We will do all we can to improve technically and turn things around by the time the tournament starts.”