Home » AFCON 2023: Emerse Fae wants to win AFCON as coach for one reason

AFCON 2023: Emerse Fae wants to win AFCON as coach for one reason

by profseuno profseuno
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As a member of the Cote D’Ivoire golden generation including Didier Drogba, Bakare Toure, Yapi Yapo, and Salomon Kalou to mention a few.

With their immense talents, those crop of players couldn’t win the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with the Elephants.

Fae played for the West African side from 2005 to 2012 before his retirement.

On January 24, 2024, he was appointed as caretaker coach of Cote D’Ivoire during AFCON 2023 ahead of Round of 16 clash with Senegal following the dismissal of Jean Louis Gasset.

He has been in charge of the team that eliminated 2021 winners, Senegal and Mali in the Round of 16 and quarter-final games respectively.

With the semi-final clash against the Democratic Republic of Congo, Fae wants to achieve what he couldn’t as a player, which is to win the AFCON title.

“Of course this is clear. I was unlucky to win the AFCON as a player. It is like a motivation and duty to win for the country as a coach. I will put my best effort into bringing the AFCON to my country. If I can do it at this AFCON, I will. I want my players to give their best to achieve this,” Fae told journalists during a pre-match press conference in Abidjan on Tuesday.

“Before the match against Senegal, we almost exited the competition until Morocco won. After that, we decided to instill confidence in the team to let them know that they must show more solidarity on the field. Since the match we played against Nigeria, Nigeria has shown a lot of defensive solidity to reach the semi-final. We decided to create the same mindset in the team. I understand that we have a team with individual qualities.

“We have been analysing our games. We really want to start games on the right note and not react after conceding. We have to gain confidence from the wins and get the lead from the beginning of the match.”

Substitutions have been key to the progression of the team so far as they have been coming from the bench to help get the desirable results for the Elephants in the Round of 16 and quarter-final.

“Every time we had a replacement, they always had an impact on the game.” He continued. “In that case, people tend to think the coach is doing the right thing. This might not be the same throughout my career. It is important for me to know that I don’t have 11 players to rely on but on all the players.

“Of course, we have a group of 27 players. We are together. If we want to grab this trophy we can only do it with the 27 players and not the first 11. We have suspended players that we can’t rely on for the next game but they will support us from the sidelines. We have been able to put forward a team that is able to show solidarity by supporting one another. It is a great loss not to have all the players due to yellow or red cards.

“Let’s say that we had more pressure in our last two matches than the next. We still have the pressure in the semi-final to get to the final. Every match has its pressure knowing that we have a step to get to the final. We will play the match with the fullness of our concentration. Now that we are on the right path, we are not going to derail from getting to the final.

“We have to show respect to all teams in this competition. DRC are not in the semi-final for nothing. I know my opponents and how to prepare my players for the match but won’t say how we will approach the game.

“Matches come one after the other but they must be prepared for psychologically. We had a totally transformed team. DRC are also a confident team. They are coming with their experience as well. They will respect is but also have confidence in their team.

“Diminished, I will say no because there are four players that are not playing and will be in the stands. It doesn’t change everything. It is a loss for us but the mindset is the same. Those on the field, and others will support us and help us to win despite the absences.

“We started the competition with two injured players. Today they are with us and ready for the match. Mentally winning against Mali in such a way gave us more confidence. We are going to see tomorrow how we feel physically. Winning gave us more confidence and it is more easy to recover after winning. We have a squad of 27 players and try to reshuffle the team with players who are ready to help us win the match.

“I think this will be a mistake thinking that we came far after nearly exiting the tournament. We were saved by a miracle against Mali. If you don’t have the right mind frame, you can’t achieve such a Miracle. Qualifying by the miracle means there are more grace for the tournament. We will do what we have to do. The miracle against Mali didn’t come by chance but by strength. Miracles only happen when you give your best.” He concluded.

The winner of the game will face either Nigeria or South Africa in the final.



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