NEW Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic could not have asked for any tougher opposition than Algeria in his debut match in charge of the Zimbabwe national team.
The Croatian was unveiled last Thursday as the team’s permanent manager and his first match will see Zimbabwe take on the reigning African champions in Blida on March 23.
Zimbabwe does not have much turnaround time as they are set to host the Desert Foxes at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on March 31.
Currently, the Dessert Foxes sit at the top of Group H with six points after winning their opening two matches while the Warriors are second with four points having drawn against Botswana before beating Zambia away in Lusaka.
Despite being faced with such a daunting opponent in his first two games in charge, Logarusic is looking forward to facing the continent’s best team.
“I will meet the players I think at the airport because most players only got five days off from their clubs and my plan is because we will be coming from different environments, we have very little time to acclimatise,” Logarusic said.
“But the thing, Zimbabwean boys are professionals…and much of them are fit because they play regularly for their clubs.
“We are going to prepare…to see what we can use and then we will put tactics together and play against the champions of Africa.
“I think each Zim player would love to show how good they are and I have no doubt we will go out there to play.
“We are not going to be naive, we are going there to compete. We will give them (Algeria) respect but not too much. Full respect for them but let’s play football 90 minutes.”
After the titanic tussle against the Desert Foxes, Logarusic’s next port of call is preparing the locally-based Warriors squad for the 2020 Chan tournament to be held in Cameroon next April.
The Croatian has a big challenge because Zimbabwe’s football calendar has not been synchronised with the international.
Currently, the domestic game is on offseason which means players will go to Cameroon with limited game time.
“But before we start to talk about Algeria, we have to prepare completely team for Chan and we have problems.
“The first one being that there is no running league,” he said.
“We don’t know in which form we are picking players.
“Not many players will be at the top of their form at the beginning of the season that means we will be short but we will try talk to the clubs to maybe March 8-20 to put players together and play friendly games.”