Doe hopeful for Equatorial Guinea future after Cup exit

By Nick CavellBBC Sport, Malabo
Equatorial Guinea defender Laurence Doe (L)
Equatorial Guinea defender Laurence Doe is optimistic for the future of his adopted country's football team

Equatorial Guinea defender Laurence Doe says that his side can improve further following their Africa Cup of Nations experience.

The co-hosts shocked many by finishing second in their group before losing 3-0 to Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals.

The Nzalang Nationale must now concentrate on qualifying for the 2013 Nations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.

"We are a young team and we are going to maintain this squad," Doe told BBC Sport.

"We are going to bring along more young players who are coming up in Guinean football.

"With the next generation, we are going to do better and concentrate on being a better team for tomorrow.

"With these players we can make progress."

The Liberia-born Doe also feels Equatorial Guinea's run at the Nations Cup will encourage more players to challenge for places in the country's squad.

"The younger players are happy with the performance of the team at their first tournament and to get so far," he added.

"It's a great opportunity for the youngsters, who will be encouraged.

"So we need to train hard and do more work to reach the next tournament."

Equatorial Guinea only have to win a two-legged tie later this year to reach the Nations Cup finals in South Africa next year.

They have already qualified for the group stages of African qualifying for the World Cup where they will face Tunisia, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone.