Drogba understands role - Lamouchi

The national team coach says the needs of the collective comes before the interests of the veteran striker as Cote D'Ivoire seek qualification for the last 16 from Group C
By Stefan Coerts in Brasilia

Cote d'Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi has insisted that Didier Drogba remains committed to the team amid reports that he's unhappy with his role at the World Cup in Brazil.

The experienced attacker was a substitute in his side's 2-1 win over Japan earlier this tournament, but played a major role in turning around a one-goal deficit after coming off the bench.

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Much has since been said and written about Drogba's position within the team, but Lamouchi has stressed that the former Chelsea man's needs are not his main priority.

"I’m in charge of a group and not just of Drogba. I am in charge of the whole team," Lamouchi said at a press conference.

"He knows how important he is to the team and what his role is for Cote d’Ivoire. Obviously he’s disappointed if he’s not playing, but his attitude in training shows his dedication to the team."

The coach went on to discuss Thursday's match against Colombia at the Estadio Mane Garrincha and warned that a difficult game awaits the African giants.

"This match will be completely different than the one against Japan. They will play a different style compared to how Japan played. We know that it will be a difficult game. We will have to win the battle in midfield. We have the tools to cope with their players in midfield.

“It is a crucial game, but it is not the end of the world if we lose. We have to focus on our own game. We will get the result we deserve.

"Colombia are a very strong attacking team, with players like Jackson Martinez on the bench. Even though [Radamel] Falcao is not here, they still have some great players. They have amazing potential. We have to be more concentrated. Colombia’s place in the Fifa Ranking says it all."