Warriors captain Willard Katsande is optimistic Zimbabwe will make it to the knockout stages of the Afcon finals to be staged in Gabon next month.
The Warriors began training on Wednesday to prepare for their Afcon Group B which includes continental powerhouses Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia.
Katsande and his troops appeared in good spirits, despite what seems to be a mammoth task, waiting for them in Gabon where they are considered underdogs.
The kick off their campaign on 15 January, against Algeria in Franceville, before taking on Senegal four days later and then wind up their group matches, against Tunisia on 23 January in Libreville.
With Zimbabwe’s only two previous Afcon campaigns in 2004 and 2006, ending at the group round, Katsande feels this time they can go all the way to the quarter finals.
“The coming days will see us putting in some hard work, because we all know we have a tough task in Gabon. We will not let anything to chance as we prepare,” Katsande said.
“When we look at how our opponents are being treated as giants, we actually like it when people see us as underdogs. That is going to push us to the next round, because we have a point to prove. That is our target and it is achievable. We can do it and when we are in Gabon, we will not be looking much into the giant status of our opponents.”
When the Warriors began camp on Wednesday, they were under the watchful eye of assistant coach Saul Chaminuka, while head gaffer Callisto Pasuwa arrived on Thursday, from Boxing Day’s 0-0 international friendly match against Ivory Coast.
Warriors kingpin Khama Billiat and striker Nyasha Mushekwi arrived in camp on Thursday to join the rest of the team after being excused from the first day of training.