Image from:-Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic
In their previous Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaigns, Zambia's head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic has said those responsible for failing the nation should pay the price.
Zambia has failed to impress in the subsequent editions after winning the 2012 Afcon competition and the coach feels that those responsible must be held to account.
Sredojevic continued to defend his recent selection, where he drew up a few players from abroad, thus raising intense public debate.
Before they were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Zambia had to play Botswana in back-to-back Afcon qualifiers.
"We need somebody to have the courage and say the bold truth, we couldn't put all the players we have in the team outside," Sredojevic was quoted on the Facebook page of the Zambia Football Association.
"Public sympathy goes to those who made 2012 but let us also ask the question, who failed Zambia in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019?
"Someone has to pay the price. Some players with the highest degree of respect for them, they gave Zambian football, and were part of the most glorious winning times of 2012.
"However, after some things have happened, it could not be that we continue with the same people." The former SC coach Villa and Orlando Pirates further elaborated on how the impressive 2017 junior team can be used to help achieve the dream of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
"I want to call it a lack of ambition and we still want something to be achieved," he added.
"These are the decisions we need to make and let's not sugar-coat, let's be sincere to ourselves and look at the fact that it was the backbone of that group that qualified for the U20 World Cup in 2007 for the 2012 generation that won [Afcon].
"The same for us going into the 2022 World Cup, the platform is the group that won the 2017 Africa Cup U20 and reached World Cup quarter finals.
Micho is looking to find the perfect balance between the 2012 stars' experience and the 2017 U20 Afcon squad's youthful ambitions.
"There are certain places in the team where you need to have a balance, you can't put all the young lads in the fire and then say 'I risked,"" explained the coach. "You need to have a perfect balance between the maturity and seniority of the senior players and the young fresh blood of motivated players who want to do something and achieve for their country.