Gourcuff returns to France to contemplate Algeria future

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff
Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff

Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff has returned to his native France where he is believed to be contemplating his future with the Desert Foxes.

Gourcuff has come under intense criticism from fans and the media in recent months over his selection policy, particularly after their friendly defeat to Guinea in October.

After securing a place for Algeria in the final of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, the 60-year-old admitted to reporters that he was thinking about his position.

"After the game against Senegal [a 1-0 friendly win in October], I had said that there was a possibility for me to be gone in a month's time," said Gourcuff.

"Right now I am going to take a few days off and think about what I must do.

"I cannot say if I am going to stay or not, because to take such a decision I first need to meet with the president of the Algerian federation and discuss things with him."

The Frenchman was appointed in August 2014, replacing Vahid Halilhodzic who took Algeria to the second round of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Gourcuff was handed a new deal in February despite the Deserts Foxes' quarter-final exit at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

His tempestuous relationship with the country's critical media and their demanding fans escalated following a shock 2-2 draw with Tanzania in the first leg of their World Cup qualifier in Dar-Es-Salaam.

Algeria had gone 2-0 down in that match, but they crushed Tanzania 7-0 in the return leg in Blida to win 9-2 on aggregate.

Despite that win, Gourcuff has made it clear he could walk away from the post.

Local media in France have also linked Gourcuff with the vacant coaching position at Lille following Herve Renard's sacking.

Algeria will find out about their opponents for the final group stage of 2018 World Cup qualifying when the draw takes place in Cairo on 24 June 2016.

The final round begins next October.

The 20 second-round qualifiers will form five groups of four teams with the winners of each group booking their place at the finals in Russia.

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