Senegal coach Pape Thiaw expects Uganda to come out fighting when the two sides clash in Group B of the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) on Wednesday.
The Teranga Lions returned to the competition in style after a 12-year absence and they marked the moment with a 1-0 win over a tough Cote d’Ivoire side in their opening match of the group.
Thiaw’s excitement showed at full-time of that game on Saturday as he punched the air in delight but admits the next match in the group will be tricky for his side.
“Uganda has an ambitious team. They are aggressive especially on the set pieces and second balls.We are expecting a difficult battle against Uganda and are prepared for it. We are outsiders. We accept and work to change the situation,” Thiaw said at the pre-match press conference.
The Senegal trainer gets motivation from Guinea’s excellent run at the 2020 CHAN when they finished third and hopes his lads can match or surpass Guinea’s success.
”Guinea finished third in the last CHAN and it is a motivation for us.
Quizzed on the health situation of Djibril Diarra who got injured in their match against Cote d’Ivoire, Thiaw assured that the youngster is recovering well.
“Djibril lost a tooth and we have replaced it. He needs to rest. He will train today. Other players in the squad are lively and fit”.
Thiaw was joined at the press conference by skipper Cheikh Omar Ndiaye whose defensive partnership with Ousmane Diouf earned his team a clean sheet.
The 20-year-old Generation Foot prodigy says the team’s impressive performance is due to a good pre-tournament preparation organised by the federation.
“We must thank the Senegalese Football Federation for good preparations prior to the tournament. We are performing well because of the preparations we had.”
“The team will not make declarations, but we are ambitious,” the skipper added.
A victory for Senegal against Uganda will secure the team a slot in the next round of the competition.
The game begins at 1900 GMT (10 PM EAT) in the 19 May 1956 Stadium.