World Cup 2022-Ferdinand Coly: “For Senegal, reaching the quarter-finals may be difficult”

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How did you feel during this first match against Senegal that ended in defeat

It’s a match we will never forget. Senegal won against a Dutch team that appeared cautious and afraid of the Senegalese strengths. Senegal won the game by a landslide and even won the second half. The Senegal team started to feel more confident during this period of dominance, and it was then that it was punished. We are very sorry to have lost this match. The score is very severe and leaves a bitter taste.

How can you evaluate the overall performance and effectiveness of the team?

The performance of the entire group was quite encouraging. We still had a formidable opponent with many quality players. Senegal was probably at the same level. These two goals for individual errors were our penalty at the end. Mendy’s unfortunate exit is something I remember. Senegal is not to be ashamed of its unfortunate exit from Mendy. We must not lose sight of the positives, and be more precise when making the final gesture, especially in front the goal.

“Against Qatar it will be a cutthroat match for Senegal. Victory is obligatory”

How do you approach the second match against Qatar in front of your home crowd with the obligation to win and fear of home arbitration?

Senegal will face Qatar in a fierce match. Victory is mandatory. We cannot rush because we have before us a vengeful enemy, back at the wall, who will be in front his public. It will be a tight match, and the winner will be ahead of his opponent. In-house arbitration could be a benefit for Qatar, the host country. However, if you look at the quality and the capabilities of both squads, Senegal should be the winner. We must be decisive on both surfaces. Ecuador showed us that Friday’s match will be a nail-biter. This match will be won by Senegal in the duels, in determination, and in the races. We must be at 200% to win and we must play with the goal of concluding the match and giving ourselves the chance to advance to the second round against Ecuador.

Do you feel the team is equipped enough offensively to pull together in this pool against Ecuador in the same configuration that they did in 2018 against Colombia?

The loss of a major element like Sadio (Mané) is lacking. It was evident in the percussion and the efficiency in front the goal. Now, we have to deal the the absence of Senegal’s star. We had the weapons on the side of Ismaïla Sarr and Krépin Diatta who lacked regularity in their percussion at the entrance to the surface. There were a few chances especially with Gana Guèye and long shots that were either stopped by the goalkeeper or off target. We will have extra effort to score this game. I believe there will be an offensive contribution from the staff, who will want to make the game more offensive. We had set a low block to stop the Netherlands from counter-attacks. However, I believe we will have to produce the match and find each other. We will also need to aim for these goals that will allow us to win this round. Every offensive player must realize that he must bring more. You must win this match, so you have to be free to try and dare to succeed.

“Senegal must pass this first round to show that Africa has progressed. It is not a good sign for Africa if the champion emerges in the first round.

Do you know that Iliman Ndiaye is still not a viable option for the most prolific Senegalese striker of this season? This was already the case in September in a friendly against Bolivia and Iran…

The case Iliman NdiayeIt is difficult to judge his performance when you are outside. He is a top scorer in the Championship. Selection is something entirely different. He will get the chance to showcase his talents. He should be prepared like any other player on the bench. There are still two games to go in the pools. I want him to be able to enter or start during the match. He has demonstrated a lot of efficiency in this area in all cases. It is up the staff and coach to evaluate what is happening in training. It is difficult for us as coaches to determine whether he should be a starter. However, it is clear that he is one among the players who has the profile to be a starter. We believe he will get his chance and wish him every success.

What other ingredients are needed for Lions to compete in a competition this large?

The coach will devise a strategy and identify the talent they have. Talent alone is not enough. It takes determination, courage, and guts. I believe the players have realized that this is the most important competition in the entire world. It’s a unique moment. They must realize that they are fortunate to be here and have to give everything they can. You don’t need to feel regret. Although they displayed a lot of values in the first match, they did not have the same concentration at the end of that match, which hurt us greatly. I believe they will rectify the situation in this second match. They will give their best. I wish them all the best. But talent is only one thing. You also need commitment, a lot suffering, and a lot solidarity. This is team spirit. This team has many young players. It’s still a very experienced team. They have everything they need to beat Qatar and give them a chance to face Ecuador in the final. Senegal must win the first round as African champions to prove that Africa has made progress. It is not a good sign for Africa if the champion loses in the first round. It is vital that there be at least 2 or 3.

In his new contract, Aliou Cissé has been assigned as an objective, the quarter-finals. Should we lower our ambitions and how far do you see the Lions rising in the absence of Sadio Mané?

Everyone has the right to make their predictions. My goal is to get rid of the chickens. Today, we are back at the wall with an entrance defeat. After the Qatar match, we can take stock to see if we have a chance of continuing or if the adventure is over. I don’t know Aliou Cissé’s salary increase conditions. It might be difficult, but not impossible. If we start with a defeat, it’s already too late. I don’t know what goals have been set for him, but if it’s the quarter-finals with all the adventures, the injuries, the stroke of luck with the absence of Sadio Mané… It’s not the same team without Sadio Mane. Even if the other players are good, it’s not the same team. We saw in this match that something was missing. This quarter-final goal will require a great deal of pride. If the goal is not met, leaders will have to ask themselves some questions. Although it’s great to set objectives, they are legitimate. However, it might have been more helpful to be humble. To be more ambitious internally, and to communicate more carefully. Not mentioning quarter-finals and entry semifinals seems pretentious to my ears without disrespecting the Senegalese team. I prefer to work quietly and take each match as it comes. If you have the chance, go as far and as you can.

Moustapha M. SADIO

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Source: sportnewsafrica

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