Algeria’s head coach Arezki Remmane says the team is focused on shining on home soil, affirming that their target is to clinch the trophy as they open their TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Algeria 2023 campaign against Somalia on Saturday.
Speaking during the pre-match press conference, the tactician says they have done their best in preparing the team and are ready for the challenge.
He has however warned that they are wary of debutants Somalia adding that tournament opening matches are always difficult.
“Every opening match is difficult for the host country. Mentally, it will be a lot of pressure. The mental factor is very important in this competition,” the tactician said.
He added; “As far as we are concerned, we have experience. After our participation in the Arab Cup, we worked on this point and we know that the first match is very important for the rest of the competition.”
Remmane says they have picked lessons from their successful Arab Cup campaign and are determined to right all the wrongs from that and ensure they are smoother for the African title hunt.
He says playing at home will be an advantage for them, but reiterates it will be a difficult tournament.
“African football is constantly evolving. The teams present at this AFCON also know there is a World Cup ticket at stake and it will make things really competitive. This will be like a mini World Cup. We are playing at home and this will be a motivation for us,” the tactician opined.
The coach says he has a clean bill of health on his players with no injuries, pointing out he will field his strongest 11 for the duel against the Somali.
“The match against Somalia is of great importance. We know there will be a lot of pressure, but we will be mentally ready. We have studied them (Somalia) and we have our own tactics and game plans to win the match,” Algeria’s skipper Moslem Anatouf said.
The forward stressed on the importance of a positive start to the tournament, saying it will give them a good direction in terms of achieving their targets of winning the title and qualifying for the World Cup.
The official opening match kicks off at 20h00, after what is expected to be a colourful opening ceremony at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.
Discussion about this post