CHIPOLOPOLO coach Herve Renard has accepted the criticism poured on him after the team's poor runs in recent crucial encounters.
And sports minister Chishimba Kambwili has advised the Football Association of Zambia to use its AGM tomorrow to find a solution to the team's poor performance.
In an interview yesterday, Renard said being criticised was part of his job and he would welcome any criticism as he works hard to qualify Zambia to its maiden World Cup appearance in Brazil next year.
Renard has come under a lot of criticism following the team's poor performance since winning the Africa Cup in Gabon last year.
He, however, reminded the fans that he went through the same scorn in 2011 prior to the 2012 Africa Cup, which Chipolopolo eventually won.
Renard said Zambia was still top of its group, adding that only four teams among the 10 qualifying groups did better than Chipolopolo.
"But those who enjoy to criticise today are almost the same (people) when we started our road in November 2011. Today we are on top of our group. In the 10 groups of the qualifiers for World Cup, only four teams at the moment are better than us," Renard said.
Zambia is leading group D with seven points, closely followed by Ghana on six while Lesotho has two and Sudan have one point.
He urged the fans to rally behind the team and wait to see if it would manage to achieve its goal of qualifying to the World Cup.
He said difficulties were part of football and only the strongest people were able to pull through.
Meanwhile, Kambwili urged FAZ to have an issue-based AGM and find solutions to the problems affecting the national team's performance.
Kambwili, who was scheduled to meet the FAZ executive yesterday, said it would be important for the AGM to resolve most issues surrounding the national team.
"They shouldn't turn the AGM into a battlefield, instead they should just discuss issues and most importantly find the solution to the team's poor results," Kambwili said.
"I couldn't meet with the FAZ executive because they were having their own meeting, but I had a meeting with their president (Kalusha Bwalya). He told me the same reasons that Renard told me."