Micho has rolled out his strategy on Chipolopolo’s jam-packed October international friendly calendar.
Chipolopolo will return to action after a seven month Covid-19 lockdown against Malawi at home on October 7,Kenya away on October 11 in Nairobi and Bafana Bafana on October 13 at Rustenburg.
A team of 40 home-based players entered camp in Lusaka on Monday and will be joined by 13 foreign-based call-ups next week.
“We started yesterday (September 28) our journey in preparation for the triple-header friendly matches against Malawi, Kenya and South Africa,” Micho said after Tuesday morning training at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
“We have completed the squad with 40 local players that we are looking at, and we are also looking at a few more players,” Micho said.
“At present, we are assessing the state of the players where they have been in the context of it has been lockdown, the league that had then continued and then had been stopped and is now in preseason.
“And I want to give credit to the Zambian coaches who have put the players in the correct fitness and shape.
” We had left our respective teams and coaches to work and put the players into the correct fitness shape for almost one month, so now before the league starts, we shall have them.
“We are looking at by Sunday, to reduce the team to 20 or 24 players that will be in contention with 13 players; the seven players from Europe and six invited from the African continent.”
Micho said that he expects to field his local prospects for the 2021 CHAN tournament in the friendly against Malawi.
CHAN is a second tier AFCON for home-based players.
“We shall make a competitive squad with the first game against Malawi, we shall give a chance mostly to the local players and those outside who we have not seen enough action,” Micho said.
“In the first two matches against Malawi and Kenya, we want to see the best-of – the-best of ours so that we have a general checkup before the game against Bafana Bafana so that we see where we are, how we are, and in which direction to go.
“And with the squad that will go to Kenya and South Africa, whoever will not be able to play against Bafana Bafana, we are looking for a high-profile international friendly against one of the top three South African clubs; Pirates, Chiefs or Mamelodi Sundowns so that everyone is tested whether they are capable to serve competitive matches in November against Botswana.”
Chipolopolo is using the October dates to warm-up for the restart of competitive action that was halted since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zambia will face Botswana in their rescheduled 2021 AFCON Group H qualifier doubleheader at home and away on November 9 and 17 respectively.
After two rounds of matches played in Group H, Chipolopolo are bottom of the pool with zero points, Botswana third with 1 points while Zimbabwe and Algeria have 4 and 6 points respectively