New Cameroon coach Denis Lavagne
faces a "challenging task" to rejuvenate the Indomitable Lions
and qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, he told Reuters in
The Frenchman was appointed this week to succeed Spaniard
Javier Clemente, fired on Monday after Cameroon failed to
qualify for the upcoming African Nations Cup finals.
"I know it's not going to be an easy task for me and my
assistants. All I can say for now is that we'll do everything to
select the best Cameroon players, both at home and abroad, and
introduce fresh, young talent into the squad to replace older
players," he said on Saturday.
"In order for us to succeed in this very challenging task
we'll need the support and co-operation of all Cameroonians."
Lavagne stressed a leading role for African Footballer of
the Year Samuel Eto'o, who has been accused by pundits of
wielding too much influence in the squad, both over his team
mates and former coach Clemente.
The new interim boss, whose only previous management
experience was working with Cameroon champions Coton Sport, said
Cameroon had lacked offensive midfielders and strong wingers in
recent games who could supply Eto'o with opportunities to score.
"Football is a collective sport and one player cannot do
everything alone. In order for Eto'o, with his rich experience,
to score the goals he needs people around him who will make good
passes and provide him the ball at the right time."
Cameroon were eliminated by Senegal in the qualifiers for
the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals, only their second failure in their
last 16 attempts to reach the tournament.
On top of the World Cup mission, Lavagne will also have the
immediate task of qualifying Cameroon for the 2013 Africa Cup of
Nations finals in South Africa.
Cameroon begin their World Cup preliminaries next June.
Lavagne on Friday recalled Tottenham Hotspur full back
Benoit Assou Ekotto, midfielder Jean Makoun and striker Somen
Tchoyi to a 28-man squad for three friendlies in November.
Cameroon play Sudan on November 11 and Morocco on November 13 in
Marrakech before travelling to Algeria for a third friendly on
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