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Taoussi tips Moroccan magic

Morocco head coach Rachid Taoussi said his team are ready for the Africa Cup of Nations ahead of their tournament opener.

The Moroccans – who did not make it out of the group stage at the tournament last year – begin the 2013 event with a clash against Angola on Saturday.

And Taoussi believes he has his side well-prepared as they attempt to win the tournament for the first time since 1976.

He is also pleased that Montpellier Younes Belhanda is fit for the match, with the midfielder – who is in terrific form in Ligue 1 this season – working hard to be involved in the fixture.

“I am here to prepare the group, to get the 23 players ready,” Taoussi said.

“They have to be ready physically, tactically and most importantly, mentally. But all the squad is ready. It is a tournament not a single game.

“I am very happy that (Younes) Belhanda is coming back so quickly. I would like to thank him and our staff for that. He made a big effort in order to be fit on time which is very important.”

Fiorentina striker Mounir El Hamdaoui will be one of Morocco’s most important players.

And he is looking forward to getting started, saying the team had worked hard and would give their all.

“After the tournament it is always to say we should do it this way or that way, but we are here now with this group,” El Hamdaoui said.

“We have a good group and have worked hard since we arrived on January 3. We have good team spirit and we are going to give everything and will see how we do.”

Sat 19 Jan, 2013
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