In an interview with Reuters, he downplayed the chances of his team going home with the trophy.
‘We can’t hide, we are the defending champions. But we can’t say we are the favourites. Everybody would laugh if I said that. Ivory Coast and Ghana are the favourites’, said Renard.
The Zambian national team was defeated by Angola in a warm up friendly and had a goalless draw against Morocco. Despite their not too impressive build up, the coach believes he has a better team than last year’s.
‘At the same stage (last year), I was very, very concerned. All our warm-up games had been poor’ said the Frenchman. ‘I think we are better than last year at the same stage. But look what happened then: we had nothing to show for ourselves and we won the tournament’ Renard said.
Zambia is in the same group with the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. Zambia will lock horns with the Nigerian squad on the January 25 at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit.