Thursday Jul 15, 2021. 12:00
Under-fire Chipolopolo Zambia coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic insists the team is improving under him but reluctantly admits his future is in FAZ’s hands.
The pressure is growing on Micho after Chipolopolo’s poor performance at the 2021 COSAFA where they failed to defend their title.
Zambia also failed to qualify from Group A to the knockout stage for the first time in COSAFA Cup history.
At the COSAFA Cup, Chipolopolo won one match beating Botswana 1-0, drew 0-0 with hosts South Africa and lost 2-1 to Lesotho and 1-0 to semifinalist Eswatini.
Those Group A results saw Zambia finish second from bottom on 4 points.
Eswatini and South Africa qualified to the semifinals on 7 and 10 points respectively.
“I am very proud of each moment I have spent and at present whether I will be in charge is purely up to the people who are in charge,” Micho said.
“Supporters very often look at the game in very emotional ways.
“However, administrators are the ones to decide whether it is enough or it is not enough.
“Now regarding myself, my conscience is absolutely clean under the circumstances.
“After stretching myself beyond all human and sporting limits I have given my best.
“We, unlike any other team in COSAFA, have invested in playing 26 matches both competitive and friendly games since I came.”
Micho has actually been in charge of 27 games including an All-Stars Versus The Rest friendly exhibition over Christmas that finished 1-1 in Lusaka.
Overall, Micho has in competitive action won four, drawn four and lost as many games.
In addition, Chipolopolo also failed to qualify for the 2022 AFCON and made a quarterfinal exit at the 2021 CHAN where they were outplayed and trounced 3-1 by Morocco in the last eight on the latter’s way to retaining their crown.
On the friendly front, Micho has a record of seven wins, four draws and four defeats.
“When you have that in mind, with or without me, Zambia has invested and it will pay back in profit in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and continue afterwards in the Ivory Coast AFCON 2023 qualifiers that I believe after missing the AFCON three times they are supposed to reach,” Micho said.
“I have set the ground; I have set the platform, for whoever will be there in charge to do the job.
“Whether it is me or not, I will serve, if it is not me, I will support them.”