The Zebras senior national team coach Peter Butler has promised not to look back when they meet Burundi in the second leg of the AFCON qualifiers.
He said his philosophy of an attacking style of play will be the order of the day when he unleashes his Zebras on Sunday afternoon.
It will be a do or die game for the Zebras who will have to come out with a win to continue harbouring any hopes of appearing at the AFCON finals for the second time in their history.
“With the morale and spirit of the boys being this high, we can only hope to go and make the nation proud. We will definitely be going for the kill and we have absolutely no reason to change our attacking style of play,” relayed Butler.
He added that his senior players have been gelling well with his new, young and vibrant players and credited his senior players for the great mentorship they have given the young ones.
The pint-sized “PJ” as the Zebras coach is affectionately called in football circles told the Voice Sport that they have done their homework on Burundi and worked on their strengths.
He revealed that their opponents are a good side with top class players who can compete on any given day.
“Burundi believes in a physical type of play because that’s their strength and they are good with set pieces. So we have been working on the set pieces in training but the whole idea is to try and avoid giving them unnecessary set pieces, especially near our goals,” he said.
Butler further praised the BFA (Botswana Football Association) for the support they have given him ahead of the crucial encounter.
Zebras are well aware that a loss against the ‘swallows’ of Burundi would see their hopes of proceeding to the second stage of the AFCON preliminary stages shattered, and it will take them almost two years without playing any official or competitive matches.
Botswana and Burundi played to a goalless draw in Bujumbura on Sunday, May 18.
The first leg of the 2015 AFCON qualifiers was played at a fully-packed 22 000-seater Prince Louis stadium.
Butler and his technical team will also be hopeful that there won’t be any forced substitutions like Oscar Ncenga being red-carded late in the second half after he received two yellow cards due to late tackles.
Butler had no choice but to sacrifice Sekhana Koko for Moreetsi Mosimanyana.
The Zebras goalie, Kabelo Dambe, emphasized the importance of local support, saying there is nothing more hurtful than playing to an empty stadium.
“You should have seen how Burundians came in large numbers to support their national team, Batswana should come out in large numbers because it hurts to see countries maximizing on supporters at home, but when we get here we fail to do the same!” he stressed.
Dambe noted that this is a national project hence every single Motswana has to rally behind them.
He said even at camp they keep encouraging one another that at the national team they should put their club differences aside and put the national pride first.
“It doesn’t matter which clubs we play for, football is football and is played under the same rules. Above all Batswana know what’s expected of us, hence we have all sworn to put up a brave fight for our country,” concluded Dambe.