New Cameroon coach Denis Lavagne admits tough task

Cameroon coach Denis Lavagne
Denis Lavagne is seeking to revive the Indomitable Lions for the future

New Cameroon coach Denis Lavagne admits he faces a tough task in rejuvenating the Indomitable Lions.

The Frenchman was appointed this week to succeed Spaniard Javier Clemente who was fired in the wake of their failure to qualify for the 2012 Cup of Nations.

Lavagne, who has coaching experince in Cameroon, feels it will be a tough assignment to revive Lions' fortunes.

"I know it's not going to be an easy task for me and my assistants," said the former coach of ContonSport.

"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.

"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 boss 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," Lavagne said.

Cameroon were eliminated by Senegal in the qualifiers for the 2012 Nations Cup 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 African Nations Cup finals in South Africa.

Cameroon begin their World Cup preliminaries in June next year.

They have been drawn in Group I alongside Libya and the winners of the qualifying games between Swaziland and DR Congo as well as Guinea Bissau against Togo.

Lavagne will be assisted by Martin Ndtougou Mbile from the under-20 team that went to July's World Cup in Colombia and Pierre Mbarga will be the goalkeeping coach.

The coach has 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 11 November, Morocco two days later before travelling to Algeria for a third friendly on 15 November.

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