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Senegal players want to win Afcon for coach Cisse

Liverpool star Sadio Mane and Chelsea shot-stopper Edouard Mendy are determined to win the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament for under-pressure coach Aliou Cisse and country.

The Afcon finals will take place on Sunday, 6 February, where the Lions of Teranga will lock horns with Egypt.

Senegal began the tournament at a very slow pace with a slender win over Zimbabwe, goalless draws against Guinea and Malawi in Group B.

“I believe this man [Aliou Cisse] deserves everything because he’s the most criticised coach I’ve ever seen in my life, but he never gives up,” Mane told BBC Sport Africa.

“He trusts himself, he trusts the group. He has critics outside, but right here he is doing his job.

“Most importantly, we would like to win this for him and our country because he deserves it after everything he went through as a player for Senegal and now as the coach.

“It will be a great reward for everything he has given to his country.”

Meanwhile, the Best Fifa goalkeeper of 2021 Mendy, who missed Senegal’s first two Afcon games due to Covid-19 believes that his mentor has what it takes to lead them to the promised land.

“We’ve been here before, but the manager has what it takes to lead us to success,” added the 29-year-old goal-minder.

“What makes Senegal special under his guidance, I think, is the team spirit and the team effort.

“The coach is Senegalese like us. When he speaks he knows what he’s saying and that’s a big advantage for us. Someone who has been on this same path and football journey.

“We have one more important step to take and we hope we can do it for Senegal, the coach and of course ourselves.”

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