Gasset’s departure came two days after the loss to Equatorial Guinea which, like all Ivory Coast’s group games, had been played in the Alassane Ouattara Stadium on the northern outskirts of Abidjan.
In their first game back at the stadium after beating Senegal in Yamoussoukro and Mali in Bouake, former AC Milan and Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie said it was vital the team laid the ghosts of that game to rest.
“We are happy, not because we have reached the final, but because it was at this stadium that we lost 4-0, so we have been talking for two days about the need to show another face,” said the 27-year-old.
“It’s like a dream,” added coach Fae.
“When you go back to the defeat here against Equatorial Guinea, we were far from imagining that two weeks later we would qualify for the final. I am very happy.”
Thrust into the main role after previously serving as Gasset’s assistant, Fae has the chance to lift the title in only his fourth game in charge in senior management, having previously spent a decade working with Nice’s youth teams prior to leading the reserves of Ligue 1 side Clermont.
The 40-year-old has coped with everything thrown at him so far however, showing boldness when dropping Kessie, among others, in his first game in charge as well as making expert use of his bench in every game.
On Wednesday, he had to reshuffle once again after four players – including captain Serge Aurier and Mali match-winner Oumar Diakite – were missing through suspension.
“In my speech, I made it clear to the squad that I was counting on everyone and that if we wanted to win this competition, we would do it with 27 players and not just 11,” Fae said.
“They understood and bought into it.”
Source link : https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/africa/68246129
Publish date : 2024-02-08 18:23:31