Sol Bamba says Elephants' best is yet to come

By Nick CavellBBC Sport, Malabo
Sol Bamba (left) vies for possession with Sudan's Mudathir
Sol Bamba (left) vies for possession with Sudan's Mudathir during Sunday's game

Ivory Coast's Sol Bamba believes there is room for improvement in all aspects of the Elephants' game ahead of Thursday's clash with Burkina Faso.

The defender admits his side did not play at their best in the 1-0 win over Sudan in their Group B opener in Malabo on Sunday.

"We need to keep the ball better and create more chances as well as defending better," he said.

"We are going to work hard in training to do better in the next game."

Sudan caused the Elephants some real difficulties, hitting the post late in the first half, while refusing to be overpowered in a second period they finished strongly.

"We know we can play better but we'll just take the three points," Bamba told BBC Sport.

"We know the first game in any tournament is very important."

The Leicester City defender says his team know what to expect on Thursday as they played the Stallions in the 2010 Nations Cup qualifiers, winning 3-2 in Ouagadougou and 5-0 at home.

"We know them well because we played against them in 2010 so we know they are dangerous and we need to be ready," he said.

His team-mate and reigning African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure admitted that it had been a tough game but felt his side were worthy of the victory.

"The weather is so hot, so it was difficult for us and it was very humid too," he explained.

"I think the team played well. We deserved to win to win this game because we controlled it in the first half.

"The second half was a little difficult but I think it was a great win."

The other Group B game on Thursday sees Angola, who beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in their opening game, take on Sudan in Malabo.

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