Tuesday Jun 13, 2017. 15:00
Following a disastrous start to his tenure with the Ivory Coast national team, coach Marc Wilmots has called for patience.
The Belgian’s first two games in charge of the Elephants have brought a 5-0 loss to the Netherlands in a friendly and a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Guinea in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier this past weekend.
Naturally the pressure is now on the Belgian ahead of the resumption of 2018 World Cup qualifiers in August and September, but Wilmots is hopeful that Ivorians remain calm after his poor start.
“There is no need to be alarmed. We lost a battle and not the war. It's a four-way championship [AFCON qualifying group] that is just beginning,” Wilmots told CAF’s official website.
“This is our first official game. The team is young and undergoing reconstruction. It will increase in power.
“I ask the Ivorians to be a little patient. If Guinea could beat us here, nothing says we can not beat her at home.”
The Elephants’ next competitive matches will be a double-header against Gabon in Group C of the Russia 2018 qualifiers.