Ethiopia coach Yohanes Sahile is oozing with confidence after four foreign-based players joined the squad ahead of Sunday’s AFCON 2017 qualifier against Lesotho in Bahir Dar, 700-kilometres from the capital, Addis Ababa.
The quartet include; strikers Saladin Said, Oumed Oukri and Getaneh Kebede and midfielder Shimeles Bekele. Saladin plays for Egyptian gaints, Al Ahly while Oukri is on the books of Alexandria-based Ittihad. Bekele is on the books of Egyptian side, Petrojet whilst Kebede plies his trade in South Africa.
“Lesotho may not be a big name in the continental football but we cannot underestimate them. We have to bear in mind that teams like Lesotho can cause upsets in this kind of qualifiers. At this stage, what I want to stress is the need for a good mind setting. We have to get the three points from match,” Sahile told Cafonline.com in the build up to the game.
The trainer is also hoping to avoid a troubled campaign in the qualifiers after the Walias’ missed out on the party for the last edition held in Equatorial Guinea few months ago.
“It is not easy to get the respect of the fans unless you deliver something substantial. We will show the people how far we are determined to qualify for the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. This was what I promised when I was appointed head coach.”
“This is the third international game at Bahir Dar. The previous two were when I was the coach of Ethiopian side, Dedebit and we won two matches in the CAF Confederation Cup few years ago. I want a repeat of that feat against Lesotho.”
This will be the first competitive match for the coach who took over the reins of the 1962 African champions few months ago on a two-year contract with a mandate to guide the team to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2016 African Nations Championship in Rwanda.