Days after revealing his squad for Senegal in the first leg of the 2014 World Cup qualifying knockout, Cote D’Ivoire coach Sabri Lamouchi said he doesn’t want to entertain the feeling that the encounter will be a cheap fight like many in the country seem to believe.
Both teams met last year in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, with the Ivorians carrying off both legs on a 6-2 aggregate.
However, Lamouchi predicts a more complicated situation than last year’s and acknowledges his side will face an obstinate Senegal team, in quest of vengeance and a return to the international scene.
“Me, I don’t believe what many people are thinking or saying here,” Lamouchi told reporters on Monday in Abidjan.
“We will not be facing the same team and the same scenario like in 2012. This time, it’s going to be difficult for us. It is left for our team to handle the situation and make life easy by hard work and equal determination.
“To overcome the Senegalese hurdle, we need to begin early preparations, hold our focus and realise we’re going to be dealing with a very tough opponent,” he said.
The training camp will open on Tuesday in Abidjan, with all the players expected to report by Thursday, according to the French manager.