Snodia Mikiri, Sports Reporter
JOEY Antipas says the inclusion of Khama Billiat and Ovidy Karuru into the Warriors fold is not driven by panic.
Instead, they are just reinforcing the team.
The duo joined the team ahead of today’s must-win encounter against Somalia in a 2022 World Cup qualifier at the National Sports Stadium.
Karuru was recalled to join the squad on Sunday while Billiat was expected yesterday, according to team manager Wellington Mpandare.
They were both excluded from the initial squad that lost 1-0 to the Ocean Stars in Djibouti last Thursday.
After the defeat Antipas saw the need to boost his squad hence calling the duo.
The Zimbabwe gaffer said the two additions were not due to panic but rather to compliment his team.
“We are not panicking. But at times like these it’s always good to have your top players available.
“If you have your best players available, it gives confidence to the other players. We have to have a full supplement of players.
“This time around we are more prepared, we had more training sessions and we were fully aware of which areas we needed to address, hence the inclusion of the two,” said Antipas.
The team felt the pitch in a training session yesterday.
Zimbabwe need to win today’s encounter with a two-goal margin to progress to the stage of the qualifiers.
“Crucial match ahead of us, so far so good. We are training on all aspects looking for the eventualities of tomorrow’s game.
“We were taking some penalty kicks to make sure we are prepared for anything that can happen.
“We hope the boys don’t crack up on the pressure,” he added.
Antipas said the game comes with a lot of pressure and he hopes his players will manage it.
“The team is under pressure to perform and go through the group stages of World Cup.
“We have to come out at our very best. I told the boys not to underrate our opponents. I have confidence in my players and I believe we can go through.
“There is no way we are underrating our opponents like we did in the first leg. We tried to warn them about underrating opponents because they will come to shock you,” he said.
Antipas said he is planning to play an attacking game since he will be at home.