Vahid Halilohdzic expressed some reservations about the confrontation which will take place between the Moroccan selection and that of Malawi, Tuesday, January 25, for the account of the round of 16 of the African Cup of Nations.
The national team will not have room for error at the gates of the quarter-finals of the CAN which is currently taking place in Cameroon. In a press conference, the Atlas Lions coach is well aware of the challenge that awaits his men and calls not to underestimate the opponent.
Authors of two victories against Ghana (1-0) and the Comoros (2-0) and a draw against Gabon (2-2) in the group stage, the Moroccan selection is to its advantage, but the coach wants to calm the heat, because according to him, there are no small teams.
“We face a very combative team on Tuesday, who want to go even further in the competition and who play good football… I don’t agree with those who say that Morocco are favourites”, did he declare.
“You know, if we go back to history, Morocco left the last edition in the same round of the round of 16. For us, the important thing is therefore the qualification and it is a match where we will have to arm ourselves with determination, concentration and discipline. Don’t think Malawi are an easy team “, recalls the Franco-Bosnian technician.
The Bosnian coach confirmed that he knew the African game well since he was coach of Côte d’Ivoire, and is counting on the cohesion of his group to beat Malawi. “We had problems in the group which was divided at the time, and in the end I paid the price“, he says.
“There must be cohesion in the group and a lot of physical generosity and fighting spirit, and these are the keys to success, and a strong team is one that is able to win off its field”, he added
Regarding the absence of Achraf Hakimi, who has not trained with the team in recent days, the former FC Nantes wanted to reassure on the state of health of his star, saying that he also counted on other players.
“Hakimi is training this morning at the hotel, I’m very optimistic, otherwise Chibi and Alakouch are ready, I have other options but we’ll see by tomorrow”, he says.