Renard: 'The pressure is on Ghana'

Zambia coach believes his team are just as good as favourites Ghana ahead of Africa Cup semi-final.

    Ghana are favourites to win the semi-final but Zambia have had an impressive campaign so far [EPA]

    Ghana may be favourites for Wednesday's Africa Cup of Nations semi-final but the Black Stars are not better than Zambia, according to Zambian coach Herve Renard.

    The Frenchman, speaking on Tuesday on the eve of the last four clash in Bata, reflected: "Zambia aren't the favourites, but in our heads Ghana aren't superior to us.

    "They haven't won the Nations Cup since 1982, so they'll have a certain pressure to get a result which we don't have.

    "Ghana may have more experienced and quality players but it was the same situation with Senegal (beaten 2-1 by Zambia in the first round).

    "When you qualify for the semi-finals if you can't beat the big sides you don't deserve to be in the final, that means there'll be no pressure on us."

    Rest day

    Renard, who was assistant coach with the Ghana team at the 2008 Nations Cup on home turf, was relieved that his players had an extra day's rest between the quarter-finals compared to Ghana, who also had to travel from Franceville to Bata.

    "I prefer to be in my situation than theirs in terms of preparing for this match," commented Renard.

    "But Ghana's manager would prefer to have his squad than mine. Me, I prefer to keep mine and achieve something big."

    Zambia captain Christopher Katongo, appearing alongside him at the pre-match press conference, added: "To be at the top you have to beat top teams.

    "If you beat Swaziland, you won't receive any recognition. This is a chance for our players to become known and to take a step towards the World Cup."

    SOURCE: AFP


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