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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Rotating Algeria squad working very well - Djamel Belmadi

08:45 IST 08/07/2019
Djamel Belmadi coach of Algeria.
Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi believes his policy to rest players will help them to remain fresh and focused ahead of the quarter-final

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has backed his decision to rotate the Algeria squad at the Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Algeria continued with their fine run in the competition after goals from Riyad Mahrez, Youcef Belaili and Adam Ounas helped them to get past Guinea in a 3-0 result and book a place in the last eight on Sunday night.

The Desert Foxes, who are yet to concede a goal in the 2019 finals, have been resting and rotating up to three players since the tournament kicked off in Egypt and coach Belmadi believes it will help his side to stay fresh and focused.

“It was wanted [the break]. We decided not to play [our first team] against Tanzania, we managed the delay well, we worked well, we allowed the team who played against Senegal to rest well,” Belmadi told Goal after the Guinea match.

“They’d also played against Kenya, it’s two games in four days, already not bad. We created this opportunity, this luck - to allow the rest of the squad to play so that everyone could play.

“Everyone is roughly on the same level of form, we just need to keep them working, I take it as an advantage.”

Despite the team's fine run at the Afcon, coach Belmadi is not getting carried away and has singled out Senegal and Ghana as some of the team’s which can trouble their quest to win the title.

“There are solid teams who are here, teams who have already won, those who have played in the World Cup - like Senegal, like Ghana, like Tunisia, even though they had a tricky run in the first round,” Belmadi continued.

“I don’t want to look at the opponents too much, I want to look at what we can do, keep improving. We want to be ready for the next match each time, to study our opponents, to do the maximum, and what is necessary. We will do everything we need to do to get to the end.

“I get sick if I have to speak about myself. It’s hard to be completely satisfied. I see things which were done badly. I write things down if I have to. I relax a bit too [as well].

“We don’t have much time until the next game, we have to be immediately available. We have to get quickly down to work.

"Tomorrow [Monday] I will go to Suez to watch Cote d’Ivoire Mali - Mali we played in a friendly game, so we know them, Cote d’Ivoire could go through so we will watch them and look to take out the most information.”

Algeria will head into a quarter-final against either Ivory Coast or Mali in confident fashion.