After the failed 2014 World Cup, Cameroon coach Volker Finke wants to close the chapter and move on.
Ahead of the Nations Cup qualifiers at a press briefing, he said, “Work has started and you will agree with me that after the World Cup so many things have to change and there is need to normalise the abnormal”.
Finke stressed the need to change the team spirit and mentality, stating that with the match against Germany, he thought the spirit was good but it change and everyone knows there was an investigation.
He justifies the overhaul of the national team stressing on the need to rejuvenate the group but also keep honourable players like Mbia and Enow and strive to have a competitive team for the African Nations Cup.
Everyone knows it is a good beginning, we have changed, there are players coming to the Lion’s den for the first time, there is need to inculcate the winning spirit, respect, and modern football rules, what is happening in South America, Germany, Chile and elsewhere, he said.
We need a new mentality to adapt to modern football; we cannot publish everything and have to protect the players, officials.
Against this backdrop, he commented on the plausible absence of Jean Marie Dongou. “The players are young and have some problems and there is need to protect them. For the future of the national team, Dongou is a very good player. I will look for an avenue to help him get ready, if there are doubts he may not come. With Jean Marie, it is difficult”.
He suggests that the dressing room secrets and meetings should be guarded, closed to the press. “The strength of a team is in their dressing room, we shall work with players who are mentally and professionally strong”.
After losing grip Finke wants to reaffirm he is in control. “I am going to reconstruct the team, and it is not a problem to work with Cameroon coaches, we can communicate to better understand the Cameroonian way of doing things and need to normalise for the players to be happy with the work done in Cameroon”.
We need courage to work with the young players and not be scared, afraid, very important, support the young and not say they have to talent, he said.
He is positive about qualifying Cameroon for the Nations Cup, “We have to work for a better future, with many young players, it may take time but we need to qualify for the Nations Cup”.
The Lions play their first game against Dr Congo on September 6 and with Ivory Coast four days later.
Joel Matip informed the federation he will not be available for two games and Gaetang Bong is injured and has been replaced.
The Lions are already in camp at the Mbankomo where they would have two training sessions on synthetic turf in readiness for the Congo match.