By Lamin Cham
Languishing at the bottom of Group C with zero points, The Gambia national team players have a chance to make a comeback tonight against Guinea in the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast. The Scorpions beat Guinea in the Round of 16 in the last Afcon, an event Guinea is badly hoping to avenge. Coach Tom Saintfiet used his pre-match press conference yesterday to lash out at journalists for picking up the negativity to poison the opinion of fans and authorities about him.
“You are trying to embarrass me in front of the international media. You Gambian journalists are trying to influence the mindset of the fans, the players, and other people. When we win, you are happy but when we lose, I am the worst coach in the history of The Gambia. When I defend and we win matches, you celebrate but when I attack and we concede a lot of goals, I am the worst coach,” Tom said.
He said before he took up The Gambia job, the country didn’t win a match in five years and not having a professional league means some players are paid less than $50 a month.
“We never qualified for Afcon before I came and now, we are here. You people think that we can beat everyone, you think we cannot be beaten”, he told the Gambian media.
In tonight’s match kicking off at 8PM, Tom will have to guide his team to victory to be certain of a lifeline in the group which also includes Cameroon and Senegal.
See the sports page for a preview