Black Queens coach, Yussif Bassigi is struggling to shake off his disappointment following the team’s poor showing at the Africa Women Championship (AWC), underway in Namibia.
The Queens exited the competition at the opening round with four points and Bassigi is adamant that is equal to failure despite his pre-tournament assurance to qualify the team as one of the continent’s three representatives at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
He told GNA Sports that “I am down; very down. I know I disappointed because nothing could convince me we could not qualify or even win the trophy before the tournament.
“The statistics even proved we were not that bad but unfortunately, my expectations were not met. But I will not term that as a failure.”
Analyzing his charges campaign at the biannual meeting, Bassigi said that “Technically, the approach was not the best. There was loss of concentration in the first game against Algeria. I do not want to pin it on complacency.
“But you also cannot rule it out. Algeria defended well although we pushed them hard at every side; just one break and we got punished. The covering at the back did not prove enough each time we attacked.”
He pinned the team’s inability to defeat South Africa’s Bayana Bayana in their second group match to injuries.
“Against South Africa, Mercy Myles and Linda Eshun got injured and that changed the complexion of the match for us. The midfield broke down thereafter. In fact, it was big a struggle to end the match with a point.”
Bassigi said that criticisms about his knowledge of the players were misplaced. “I know the strength and weaknesses of the team. The bite upfront was not strong enough but the strength of the team lies in defence and midfield.”
The Queens, perennial favourites for the competition have seen fast decline to their prospect of ever annexing the trophy in recent competitions. GNA