Rigobert Song unconcerned by pressure ahead of Cameroon’s crucial Gambia clash

Posted Tuesday, January 23, 2024 by PA

Rigobert Song unconcerned by pressure ahead of Cameroon’s crucial Gambia clash

Rigobert Song is unconcerned about speculation over his position as Cameroon boss heading into their crucial Africa Cup of Nations clash against the Gambia.

The five-time champions started their campaign with an underwhelming draw against Guinea before losing to Senegal and almost certainly need to beat the Gambia to have a chance of progressing from Group C.

Victory at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake on Tuesday would leave them poised to be one of the top four third-placed sides, which would go a long way to taking some pressure off Song.

“I’ve experienced pressure since I was very young, I’ve known it, pressure, as a player,” Song, the ex-Liverpool and West Ham defender who is Cameroon’s most capped player ever, told a press conference.

“It’s part of the game; you win, you’re strong but you lose, you’re bad. I’m not getting into this game.

“I don’t panic, I don’t stress. I listen, I understand the criticism, I know what I have to do, I stay calm. My players know me, I simply tell them: ‘Do your job’. I trust my players, we’ll get there.”

Cameroon will once again be without captain and star striker Vincent Aboubakar, who suffered a thigh injury on the eve of the tournament and has not regained full fitness.

“I don’t think Abou will be ready to play,” Song added. “We are counting on him for after these three matches.”

The Gambia sit bottom of the group after back-to-back defeats but boss Tom Saintfiet remains upbeat.

“We’re still alive, the situation just got more complicated,” Saintfiet said after his side’s loss to Guinea on Friday. “We can still qualify with three points in our next game.”


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