Ivory Coast coach warns against complacency

BY foxsports • January 23, 2010

Vahid Halilhodzic has warned his Ivory Coast players not to take Algeria lightly ahead of their quarter-final showdown at the African Nations Cup on Sunday.

The two sides, who have both qualified for this summer's World Cup, meet in Cabinda and there will be plenty on the line for the Elephants, especially as their 'golden generation' tries to reclaim the ANC crown for the first time in 18 years.

And their Bosnian coach has called on his team to stay focussed.

"Algeria is a team that deserves respect because, I remind you, they eliminated Egypt in qualifying for the World Cup," he said. "It will be very difficult and very tight.

"They are so well organised and consolidated, with great density in the middle.

"We are glad to be here. There was enormous pressure on the team, and we managed to get through to the quarter-final. But now we must go forward."

The tournament favourites, who have a history of choking in recent competition, are expected to have Chelsea striker Didier Drogba fit to lead the team despite recurring pain in his back and Achilles tendon, but Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue is suspended.

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure is also worried that the team will not kick on after a first round which included a draw with Burkina Faso and a win over Ghana.

He said: "It serves no purpose to qualify in the way we did and then leave the next round. We are focused.

"We know it is a very crucial time. We've had a break for over a week and we must take advantage of that, but we must stay focused."

Algeria boss Rabah Saadane is also looking to build on what his side achieved in the first round.

After slumping to a 3-0 loss to minnows Malawi in their opening game, the Desert Foxes bounced back nicely with a win over Mali and a draw with hosts Angola handing them a place in the last eight.

Saadane said: "I had a lot of criticism after losing the opening game, but we are here now and have qualified to the quarter-final.

"We will now try to improve in the remaining matches."

share story