LONDON — Senegal assistant coach Aliou Cisse has hit back at criticism of his team’s style of play at the Olympics.
“I would not agree that we are an excessively physical team. We certainly have other technical qualities that we have shown, particularly in our collective play,” Cisse told BBC Sport, following their 2-0 win over Uruguay in Sunday’s group A match at Wembley.
Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs, who played for Team GB in their 1-1 draw against the Lions of Teranga, had argued that midfielder Sadio Manu should have been sent off for a series of challenges he made in the opening game at Old Trafford .
“I hope they will recognise our technical qualities a bit more,” Cisse said in response. Considering the fact that my team has not played together for so long, their standard of play is a very good omen for their future.”
Cisse, who was a key member of the Senegal team that reached the World Cup quarter-finals in 2002, added: “We had a very difficult match (against Uruguay) but also an interesting match.
“My players demonstrated that they had the physical resources to maintain play at a high level, right up to the end. It was a great match from which to gain experience.”
Senegal are second in Group A, behind Team GB on goals scored, and face the UAE in their final group A match at the City of Coventry Stadium today. Cisse insists the game will not be an easy one for his side.
“We held Great Britain to a draw and beat a great team in Uruguay, but that does not mean that we are the group favourites.We need to perform in every match, at 100% capacity. I think our last match will be our most difficult one. The UAE are a good physical team and could have beaten Uruguay in their game. We cannot underestimate them.”