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Football | Afcon

Morocco search for cup solidity



Morocco take on holders Zambia on Tuesday in a warm-up which coach Rachid Taoussi hopes will provide his young side with a cohesiveness ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations.

"A national team is made up of players who don't get together often and I want to find cohesiveness in the team, it's very important," he told AFP in Rabat ahead of their departure to South Africa.

The former winners, first round casualties at the 2012 Nations Cup, start off their campaign against Angola on January 19, followed by debutants Cape Verde and hosts South Africa.

"We've still got work to do to get this team ready," said Taoussi, who replaced Belgian Eric Gerets after last year's disappointing early exit in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

With Zambia, followed by Namibia on Saturday, Morocco have "two good sparring partners", said Taoussi, who secured the North African country's presence in the January 19-February 10 event with a qualifying success over Mozambique in October.

Reflecting on the youthfulness of his squad he added: "I have all the weapons on the psychological front to overcome the obstacle of players who have never played in the competition before but who are capable of producing a good Nations Cup.

"I'm a man who loves a challenge, I like to call on players who are thirsty, who are hungry.

"When D-Day arrives, we'll be ready."

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