Though the Lions defeated the Elephants during the day two Nations Cup qualifier game at the Yaoundé Amadou Ahidjo stadium, Volker Finke has great respect for the Ivorian team.
He discarded insinuations by the press that the Lions have gotten their real level, saying, “Ivory Coast is not a weak team, they have players at the premier league, it is a team with very good players”.
The elephants gave the Lions a tough time in the second half and the coach acknowledged that, “there were periods when the young goalkeeper, Fabrice Ondoua had to go out of his way to make spectacular saves considered impossible and we can say he did a good job for the group and this is an added advantage.
“Ivory Coast is a team with a good ball control and speed change with Gervinho and his dribbling capacity”, he says.
Finke however hailed his squad for the victory and justified substituting Choupo Moting.
“We spoke before at half-time and agreed he wanted to be changed 10 minutes into the second half, he came late to the first training camp because he was undergoing treatment for small injuries and when he was wounded I decided to replace him.
“It was a good idea for him and the team and Leonard Kwekeu worked some minutes later to create a scoring opportunity”.
Talking about the 19 year old striker, Clinton Njie who has won the hearts of many Cameroonians scoring three goals in two games, Finke said, “If I am convinced that there is a player with an individual talent, I work with the player and ensure his integration in the group”.
He underscored the importance of using many short games during training to integrate and give confidence to the players adding that players who were at the World Cup, Stephane Mbia, Benjamin Moukandjo, Enoh Eyong, are important for the young players”.
However, he stressed that, “a young player at 19 who is talented is no longer the younger brother to whom advice should dished out. It does not work like that, give him confidence, tell him he is in charge and responsible and for him to push the old and also command others. There should be mutual respect between the old and young and this is the philosophy of modern football”.
Finke emphasized on his reconstruction strategy after analysing the failed World cup saying it is necessary to normalise so many things, though much has already been normalised.