Tunisia hope to 'profit' from revolution at Nations Cup

Tunisia coach Sami Trabelsi
Sami Trabelsi will lead Tunisia at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon

Tunisia coach Sami Trabelsi hopes his side can 'profit' from the country's recent political revolution, as they head to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Trabelsi also outlined his preparations ahead of the tournament to BBC Sport.

The Carthage Eagles have been drawn with tournament new boys Niger, great rivals Morocco and co-hosts Gabon in group C of the competition.

"The revolution had an effect on our football and our motivation - we hope we can profit from that," he said.

The coach has arranged a friendly against Algeria next month to help his side prepare, followed by matches against teams from the Spanish regional sides of Catalunya and Basque.

Tunisia know all about their great rivals Morocco, who are resurgent under coach Eric Gerets after some time in the doldrums.

But Trabelsi admitted that the two other teams in the group, Niger and Gabon, are just as likely to pose big problems to his ambitions.

"They're two nations who we must respect - after all Niger knocked out South Africa and Egypt; two big sides," he said.

"We don't have a lot of information about Gabon but as a host country they will be motivated and the backing of the fans will be important.

"We hope to start this Nations Cup well in our first match against Morocco and then see what happens after that."

Following the games against Algeria, Catalunya and the Basques, Trabelsi will take his team to Dubai to prepare for the Nations Cup and he is certain he has the talent in his squad to make a mark this time round.

"I have players with heart and motivated players. I believe the most important thing is to be well motivated and have a good atmosphere for a tournament like this."

Tunisia kick off their campaign against the Atlas Lions of Morocco in Libreville on 23 January, before playing Niger in the Gabonese capital on 27 January.

They then travel to Franceville to play the co-hosts in their final group game on 31 January.

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