The Head Coach of the Cameroun’s Indomitable Lions, Mr. Hugo Bross has explained how his team changed in the past year and the reason why they were able to win the African title and how he dealt with the Pharaohs of Egypt in the final match.
The African Champions won their first title since 2002 after their comeback from a goal down at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville which helped them finish the match 2-1. Substitutes made by the coach during the game resulted in the two goals scored.
Undeterred by the refusal of seven players to join the national team in the AFCON who preferred to stay with their clubs abroad, which included players like Liverpool defender Joel Matip and Schalke striker Eric Choupo-Moting, Bross managed to snatch the title with young and less experienced players.
“I brought in some new young players and we started working together. We did a good job and now today we have a team,” The Belgium coach said after the final match on Sunday. “When I started coaching the team, I noticed that a number of veteran players are missing the motives. I had to make a change since players did not come with their own will to play with the national team, they only came because they were called-up.”
As he was hired one year ago, the 64-year-old coach introduced new players to the squad in order to restructure the team. “I said it a lot before, I don’t have 23 players I have 23 friends. We had a strong and eager bench and this is what made the difference in our matches against Senegal and Egypt,” he explained.
During the match against Egypt, Cameroon players seemed a bit lost in the first half, especially after the Pharaohs scored the lead goal, yet, this remarkably changed right after the break.
“We made a number of mistakes in the first half and we weren’t very good,” he said. “It was hard to explain to the players how they should change tactics in a few seconds during the game. During the break, I pointed out what they can do better to win the game and they followed the instructions.”
“We were not just better technically but also physically,” Bross added.
Cameroon will be representing Africa at the Confederations Cup in Russia in June, as they will be in a group with Chile, Australia and Germany.
“We are still not on the highest level. We need to be much better, but it’s already a great beginning,” the coach concluded.