Senegal AFCON team is intact, says coach Aliou Cissé

Senegal AFCON team is intact, says coach Aliou Cissé

Senegal coach Aliou Cissé says his team for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations is ready but he envisages some few adjustments before announcing the final 23.

The Teranga Lions are among the 24 teams to participate in the continental tournament holding in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.

“I am very confident of my team for the 2019 AFCON. I know the players I am taking along. My squad is ready. I have drawn my list for long,” Aliou told ACLSports from Dakar.

“We have completely forgotten the 2018 FIFA World Cup. I wouldn’t say it was a failure. We learnt a lot in Russia and we hope to apply those lessons in Egypt.”

Asked if his team would be built around star man Sadio Mané, Aliou, who captained Senegal at their maiden FIFA World Cup in 2002, says his plans are different.

“It’s very dangerous when you build a team around one player. He becomes a target and the entire group could be exposed once that player is besieged,” he said.

“We will be playing as a group. Although individuality pays sometimes, I believe more in a collective play. And that is what is needed in a tournament like the upcoming AFCON with 24 participants.”

Senegal have never won an AFCON title but the coach claims it is among their objectives for the upcoming tournament even when he believes it is going to be “extremely difficult.”

“We are hoping to win the ultimate but at the same time, we are aware that it is going to be extremely difficult, with teams like hosts Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Ivory Coast out there to face.”

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