Tunisia: Elephants have faults
IVORY COAST: ‘Things will return to normal for Ivorian football’
RUSTENBURG — Didier Drogba’s Ivory Coast are flawed and can be beaten, Tunisia coach Sami Trabelsi suggested yesterday, on the eve of the teams’ Africa Cup of Nations Group D meeting.
“They are a side with lots of qualities, but they have also shown quite a few faults,” Trabelsi told a press conference.
“They are not unbeatable. They certainly have the best players in Africa, and I don’t know why they haven’t managed to claim the title for so many years.
“The fact that they haven’t managed to achieve that means there are faults somewhere.”
Trabelsi continued: “They’ve got lots of qualities, lots of experience, lots of patience in their game, but also faults — they showed that in their first game (a 2-1 win over Togo).
“But all the same as a rival you have to be wary of them. These individuals can, at any moment, turn a match.”
Trabelsi said that his team’s opening 1-0 win over Algeria was “important but not decisive”.
“I hope that we tackle the coming games with a lot more seriousness, with much better football. We feel other countries here have played better in their second game, and we hope to do the same.” The Tunisian boss then commented on the loss of striker Issam
Jemaa, who is out of contention for the rest of the competition after sustaining a knee injury in the opener.
“Issam is a very important player for us, but we have envisaged replacement solutions. I hope there will be some [Tunisian] revelations at this Nations Cup.”
As for the Ivory Coast, favourites once again to lift the title after years of heartache, their coach Sabri Lamouchi said he was hoping to see another side from his stars after their mistakeriddled opening win.
“If we put up the same performance, the Tunisians will do their best not to make the same errors as Togo.
“I envisage a difficult game and, above all, a different display from the Elephants.
“I didn’t recognise my players, and they didn’t recognise themselves [against Togo].
“That wasn’t what I see every day in training.”
He added: “But I’m convinced things will return to normal. I’m not too worried, I know my players, we are all aware that the way we played last Tuesday was not representative of Ivorian football.”
Turning his attention to Tunisia, he commented: “They defended stoutly and were efficient in attack. They are a team sure of their play, with a strong defence.
“We are warned, we are facing one of the best teams at this Nations Cup ...” — Sapa-AFP.