23 January 2012 (MAP)
23 January 2012 (MAP)
Morocco national team manager Eric Gerets had a press conference before their much awaited clash against Tunisia on Monday. The Belgian tactician said that he’s not afraid of facing Tunisia in their important opener as he believes in his team’s strength.
“We are a very big team and we have many talented players both on the continental and global stage, as they play for some very big clubs. Despite the facts that some of them don’t play on regular basis with their clubs but they still have the spirit and motivation to play for the title”, the Atlas Lions manager said.
This will be Gerets first ever game in a major continental championship but he didn’t seem concerned. “I played many games against African sides in the qualifications series and I’m not worried at all. Yet I know the standard here is different and that’s why we should be in full power”, he added.
Gerets denied the injury woes for keeper Nadir Lmyaghri and striker Oussama Saidi and said “Lmyaghri is 100% fit and ready to play and we have no doubts at all. He’s our first choice keeper and he will be there in time for our first match. Regarding Saidi our physiotherapist gave us the green light and said he’s totally recovered. Anyway we have many good replacements in all positions and that makes me really calm. I didn’t make my mind yet for our starting 11 because all my players are fit and ready, but we will do so in our final training session. Those who will start will surely do their best to guarantee their team’s victory. All the team now has one goal which is to win regardless who will play tomorrow or not. Everyone knows exactly his role in the team even if he didn’t participate”.
Gerets said that he won’t alter his tactics for that match, but he will have slight changes on the lineup after all his abroad based players have joined the team. “We will play to win. This is just the start and winning it will give us a very big boost towards qualification. I fully trust my players and the atmosphere is perfect”, Gerets concluded.
Meanwhile Morocco skipper Hussein Kharja said that the game against Tunisia is extremely important for his team as they want to win the group, but noted that the game will be difficult for both teams. Regarding his participation in the 2004 infamous final he said “That’s a totally different story. In football every game is separate. We will play to win, and that final won’t have any effect on that opener”.