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Trabelsi targets Ivory Coast scalp

25 ianuarie 2013 20:08

Tunisia coach Sami Trabelsi says his side are confident they can beat the heavyweights Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.

A late Youssef Msakni strike was enough to get Tunisia over the line against Algeria in their opening Group D game and they will now head into the match against the Elephants knowing a win will go a long way to ensuring their progression into the knockout stages.

But despite their promising start Trabelsi, admited his men will need to be at their best against the star-studded Ivory Coast, who have repeatedly failed to make good on their considerable promise by winning the competition in recent editions.

"They're a team with many qualities but they also showed a lack of quality several times. I don't think it's an unbeatable team," Trabelsi said.

"For sure they've got some of the best players in Africa but I don't know why they can't get the title for years. It's a problem, with players like that, when you can't reach your objectives, there are failures somewhere.

"After our victory against Algeria, we went back to training with a seriousness and willingness. We knew that the game against Algeria would be important but not decisive as we still have two important games left to play.

"I hope we'll enter the games much more seriously and that our football will be much better. Almost every other country has played a much better second game and I hope we'll do the same.

"We hope to be qualified before the last game. We are going to play a good team with good individual players, they've got experience and nice technical abilities. We hope to play well and represent Tunisia well too."

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi is refusing to take Tunisia lightly.

"The Tunisians play like the Italians," Lamouchi said.

"They are very consistent defensively, efficient in attack and if they do not attack so often, when they do, they can hit any team hard.

"And they have a genius, every time that these players touches the ball, something happens. We already know the quality of this team and we know that they are confident about their football, defending well and with quick forwards.

"Msakni alone is able to change a game. They are one of the better teams in the competition this year and we don't need any warnings."

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