Eriksson praised for Ivory Coast defence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eriksson praised for Ivory Coast defence

19/06/2010 09:50:22 AM Comments (0)

Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has given the team a much-needed defensive discipline that has often been lacking in the past, defender Emmanuel Eboue said Friday.

Ahead of Sunday's game against five-time world champion Brazil, Eboue said the team is now more focused on getting the defensive basics right as a result of Eriksson's influence.

"We are so happy to get Eriksson as our manager because now when we play we are more solid and more compact," Eboue said. "Our objective is to defend well first."

Eriksson was only appointed coach in March following the dismissal of coach Vahid Halilhodzic after a quarterfinal loss to Algeria at the African Cup of Nations. The Swede previously coached England to the quarterfinals in the last two World Cups.

Ivory Coast drew its first game in Group G against Portugal 0-0 and plays Brazil on Sunday in Johannesburg. Brazil leads the group with three points after beating North Korea 2-1.

Eboue said he didn't know if Didier Drogba would start the match against Brazil.

Drogba broke his right arm in an exhibition match against Japan on June 4 and had surgery a day later.

The Chelsea striker came on as a 66th-minute substitute for Salomon Kalou in Tuesday's match against Portugal after football's governing body FIFA cleared him to play with a cast on his right arm.

"Every player feels very, very well and we've got confidence in ourselves," Eboue said. "If Drogba plays, it will be very great for us."

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