Phiri wants Mbesuma back in his squad

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The former Kaizer Chiefs hitman was dropped from Zambia’s Afcon team because, according to reports at the time, he was found to be unfit.

However, speaking to KickOff.com, Phiri has dismissed those reports that Mbesuma was overweight and discloses that his decision was because the striker was carrying an injury.

Phiri says Mbesuma is still very much in his plans and that he has been in touch with the player over the past few weeks to establish how he is doing in Turkey.

“Collins is one of the best players in Zambia and his experience is of great benefit to the national team. My sources in Turkey indicate that he is working hard at his club.

“I am presently organising a friendly game with a North African country for March 26 and am looking forward to having him back in the team on that date.”

Despite failing to advance to quarterfinals of the Nations Cup in Ghana, Phiri was full of praise for his charges and expressed the hope that they would continue to do well during the World Cup qualifying games this year.

“We showed what we are capable of achieving. The team gained valuable experience in Ghana and that will help us in our preparations for qualifying for World Cup in 2010.”