‘He has my blind faith’: Senegalese boss Aliou Cisse insists Edouard Mendy is STILL their number 1 goalkeeper – despite his mistake in Monday’s defeat to the Netherlands – while Kalidou Koulibaly says Chelsea teammates’ critics are ‘of a molehill make a mountain’
Edouard Mendy carries the ‘blind faith’ of his Senegalese boss Aliou Cisse and his teammates as the African champion tries to inflict even more misery on hosts Qatar.
Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy was at fault for the first goal as his team lost 2-0 to the Netherlands on Monday.
Now they take on the home nation and Asian champions at Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium on Friday, with the losers painfully aware that they are unlikely to progress from Group A.
Edouard Mendy carries the ‘blind faith’ of his Senegalese boss Aliou Cisse and his teammates
“Edouard is doing very well, he has a steely determination,” said Cisse. “We talked about the match. Edouard’s qualities speak for themselves. He’s had highs and lows, but he has my blind faith. He’ll be on the field.’
Mendy’s Chelsea team-mate Kalidou Koulibaly also supported his friend, who was the penalty shootout hero of Senegal’s African Cup of Nations triumph in February.
“We play at the same club, we are brothers in arms for Senegal and we talk a lot together,” said Koulibaly. “He is a very important player for us and it is completely normal to go through difficult phases.
“I think we’re making a mountain out of a molehill. If a team loses, it’s not one player’s fault, it’s all of us, so we shouldn’t make such an issue of it. Edouard knows what to do and so do we – and we need everyone to join in.
Mendy was at fault for the first goal in Senegal’s 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands on Monday night
But manager Cisse insists the Chelsea goalkeeper remains his number 1 between the sticks
Mendy’s Chelsea and Senegal teammate Kalidou Koulibaly (centre) also believes his critics are ‘making a mountain out of a molehill’ after defeat to the Netherlands
‘It won’t be easy. We started with a loss and our backs are against the wall, but we are the lions and we will try for six points out of six. Our mentality will be like that of warriors.’
After years of preparation and controversy, Qatar swallowed the shame of becoming the first host nation to lose its opening game, a 2-0 defeat to Ecuador on Sunday, and is in danger of dropping out of the competition in just six days.
“We dream that we are ready, so that won’t happen,” said their Spanish manager Felix Sanchez. ‘You can compile the statistics however you like, but we are a small country with a small population.
“We only think about ourselves and our way. There was a long-term plan and I’m sure we will continue to improve after the World Cup.’