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Halilhodzic doubts Algeria potential

Algeria head coach Vahid Halilhodzic says he is uncertain of his team’s chance of success at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Halilhodzic took over as head coach of Algeria’s national team in June 2011, and has led them to eight victories in 10 games during his tenure.

But having been grouped with Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Togo, the 60-year-old remains wary of high expectations.

Algeria did not qualify for last year’s AFCON but finished fourth in the 2010 tournament in Angola under former coach Rabah Saadane.

In the lead up to Algeria’s opening game versus Tunisia, however, Halilhodzic does not seem convinced his team can match that result in South Africa.

“It’s a tough tournament,” Halilhodzic said.

“I am optimistic but we will see what is going to happen.

“I don’t know realistically how ambitious we can be but what I know is that the Algerian team will do everything to get the best possible result.”

Speaking on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Tunisia, Algeria captain Mehdi Lacen denied his team have ‘any psychological advantage’ over their North African neighbours.

In 47 games, Algeria lead Tunisia 20-14 in terms of victories, while Lacen and his team-mates defeated the Tunisians 1-0 in their last meeting in 2011.

But Algeria’s captain does not believe that will play a role on Tuesday.

“We don’t have any psychological advantage,” Lacen said.

“We played well against them and we won in their stadium.

“Since that game, their team has changed a lot.

“Ours as well.

“I think it’s good that we won against them but it will be a different game.”

Mon 21 January, 2013
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