Afcon: Senegal are our own worst enemies, says coach Aliou Cisse

For all their much-lauded football exploits on the African continent, Senegal are yet to win the Africa Cup of Nations title

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse says his team are their own biggest enemies as their quest for a maiden Afica Cup of Nations trophy starts at the finals in Egypt in June and July.

Despite being one of the most consistent sides in Africa, Senegal have never lifted the Afcon trophy in 14 previous appearances at the tournament.

Their best showing at the tournament is a runners-up spot in 2002, when they lost the final to Cameroon in Mali.

In the upcoming tournament, they have to first navigate past Group C in which they were drawn with Algeria, Kenya and Tanzania.

Cisse’s contract states that he has to guide the Teranga Lions to Afcon victory in Egypt and the former Senegal captain is not looking for excuses in their title bid.

“We do not have the philosophy of fear. We have a positive philosophy. Today, the enemy of Senegal is Senegal. We must focus on ourselves and stop talking about our opponents. I have interests in my team, my strategy and what we want to do on the field and doing it well,” Cisse was quoted as saying by WiwSport.

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“We are keen to have a great tournament. We know that for us to win this Afcon, we will have to beat everyone. It will start with Tanzania on June 23. We will see in the round of 16 how that will happen. But our philosophy is to take the games one after the other. We know that everything can happen.”

Led by Liverpool star Sadio Mane, Senegal are tipped as one of tournament favourites.

In the last Afcon edition, the Teranga Lions went out at the quarter-final stage, having arrived at the tournament as favourites.