Algeria coach Halilhodzic left in dismay

Vahid HalilhodzicAlgeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic said he was left in “dismay” following his side’s pperformance against Togo on Saturday.

Algeria lost 2-0 to the Togolese. He spoke to CafOnline.

What was your initial reaction?

“What more can I say? The only thing that I can say is we are “dismay”. We looked good on the pitch, we had a winning team. I had said that this team had a bright future, but we came short.

The Togolese scored two goals. It’s difficult to make an analysis; but I feel that I need to take the blame for this one. I cannot accuse anyone, I chose the players. We had so many chances of scoring; we should be doing much better at this level of football. We saw Adebayor change the course of the game. He is a great player and we are still far from that level. In my defence, the guys played with pride and I do not blame anyone, but we need to reflect of many things in Algerian football; with or without Vahid. I am very attached to this team and its players.”

At some stage it seemed Algeria could have played for hours without scoring…

At one moment, I thought to myself, so many shots, so many missed opportunities… We dominated the game; it shows that we haven’t yet reached that level. It’s the first time in my life that I have lost two consecutive matches. Do the players have the level to play at this level of pressure? The papers were speaking of semi-finals and I saw some of the players who could have made it. I noticed a lack of self-confidence in the last game. We are going through a very tough moment, very painful the agony of defeat. I have a profound sense of dismay.

Was it due to bad luck?

“A while back, I was a striker. Bad luck can happen to anyone, but when it happens in two consecutive games, then it becomes a problem. These players were exceptional during the qualifiers; hence my faith in them. I saw the lack of experience. We played very flamboyant football throughout the qualifiers, but today was a complete disaster; I feel deeply sorry for them.

Given the supporters’ disappointment, would you still continue as coach?

“For the past twenty months, I have hidden nothing. I know how it goes in football. Just yesterday, I was very popular with the public and even journalists. People are very disappointed; they travelled 10, 000 km to watch our game; it is normal for them to be disenchanted. I understand the people’s anger. People had very high expectations of us, they thought that we were going to win; this proves that the team still has many chinks in their armour; we are still immature. Was I, as team selector, too hopeful? Is this team capable of playing more forward? If I had put 9 defenders and one striker, the end result wouldn’t have been the same, but 0-0. I had a different strategy which was a little more risky. I saw two goals being scored on the counter-attack, we spent 80 minutes in their 16 metre-yard, yet we still couldn’t score.”



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