Senegal admit to pressure as defending champions

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Jan 2024

Senegal coach, Aliou Cisse, has openly acknowledged the pressure his team faces as they prepare to defend their title in the continental competition.

Aliou Cisse.
File Photo: Senegal s head coach Aliou Cisse. Photo: AFP


In Group C, Senegal will take on Gambia on Monday, alongside Cameroon and Guinea.

"The pressure that exists is a positive pressure that motivates us to win," Cisse told the pre-match news conference on Sunday.

"However, I have gained a lot of experience, as this will be my fourth African Cup of Nations with Senegal as a coach."

Cisse refrained from singling out his team as the sole contender, stressing the importance of a strong start in the competition to send a warning message to all their opponents that they are prepared to defend their title.

"There are numerous contenders for the continental title, and Senegal is not the only favorite," he cautioned.

The former Senegalese captain mentioned that he and his Lions have moved on from their first continental triumph, revealing that they now face a new challenge.

"We now have a new challenge. Yesterday is in the past, referring to the 2021 African Cup of Nations, and today we have the 2023 African Cup of Nations."

Having finished as runners-up in 2019 in Egypt, Senegal clinched their first-ever Nations Cup title in 2021 by defeating Egypt in a penalty shootout in the final.

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