Cote d’Ivoire's newly appointed Sabri Lamouchi says he wants to be the second coach to win the Africa Cup of Nations for the west African nation after Yeo Martial led the Elephants to clinch their first and only title at Senegal 1992.
The 40-year-old former Inter and Marseille midfielder took over from Francois Zahoui in May, after the Ivorian was fired for failing to win the 2012 Afcon title following their flawless route to the final, losing to Zambia on penalties.
“I know I have no experience as a coach, but my whole life has been made of football since 20 years, and this is helping me today in my new career as a coach,” Lamouchi told French radio RMC on Monday.
“My objectives are very clear: qualify the team to the 2013 Afcon and do better than the previous edition, that is to say winning the title. This will help fans forget the pains from their team’s narrow loss last February.
“It may be the last competition for this awesome generation and so if the players are able to bring home the title it’d be a tremendous gift for the entire nation. We are working and we shall win the South Africa 2013,” he said.
The naming of Lamouchi raised criticism from local pundits and editorialists who blasted the FA for employing a novice to head Africa’s best national team.
Under the Frenchman, Cote D’Ivoire have won one match, against Tanzania 2-0 and drawn another, against Morocco 2-2, in 2014 World Cup qualifying.