Morocco have failed to sparkle at the last two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments despite arriving in Ghana in 2008 and Gabon in 2012 with high expectations and current Atlas striker Mounir El Hamdaoui cannot pin point the reasons behind these failures.
But he is confident that the Atlas Lions will give a better account for themselves in South Africa.
“It’s my first Nations Cup so I can’t answer as to why we failed in the past, its really difficult to pin point why a team did not do good in a tournament. I will say this team is ready we have had a lot of time together and will give a good account.”
While El Hamdaoui was not in the Morocco squad who were eliminated at the group stages of the last Nations Cup, he does have teammates who were in the team and they are determined not to make an early exit.
He said, “we have players who played in 2012 and they are motivated and determined to do better, the important thing for us is to start with a win. If you win your first game and then things go better from then on, that will be key for us.”
As El Hamdaoui looks to get the tournament off to a winning start he has had an eye on their opening day opponents Angola.
“We have watched some of their games and have an idea on their play, they play like a true continental team - they are strong and take you on the counter attack. Which we need to be aware of when playing against them, they are a tough team but we don’t expect anything but a difficult game.”
While El Hamdaoui and his teammates have been preparing in Johannesburg for the past week, the weather during the opening game is predicted to be rain and not the blistering heat wave which has
gripped Johannesburg for the past few weeks.
“It will make no difference to us if it is hot or rains, the wet conditions will actually suit us because we play a lot in those kinds of conditions. When the pitch is wet the ball moves faster and the game is played at a fast pace which will produce a good game.”