Renard knows what he is doing

Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard appeared to hit out at the referee after his side's 1-1 draw against Mali at the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.

"I won't talk about anything but I was not upset against my players. I think you are able to understand against what I was upset, but now it is too late to talk about that," said the Frenchman, whose side needed a late Max Gradel goal to earn a draw in the Group D clash after Bakary Sako gave Mali an early lead.

However, the Ivorians could have had a penalty in the first half when Wilfried Bony went down in the area under a challenge from Molla Wague with the score 1-0.

"I don't like to create controversy after. All that leads to is being suspended. I need to remain calm," added the former Zambia coach, who insisted he thought his team produced a better display than in their 1-1 stalemate with Guinea on Tuesday.

"There were lots more good things today than in the first match but unfortunately we went behind early on.

"Once again we struggled at the start of the game. I think if you look at the statistics, they didn't have many shots on goal."

Renard says he needs time to build his side as Ivory Coast enter a period of rebuilding at the end of the so-called golden generation.

“Four of the players on the pitch today are competing at their first AFCON. It is obviously harder for them. In football, we need to build. Things don’t happen in one shot. In Zambia, with whom I won, I stayed for five years, and I am only with the Elephants for five months. We need time to put things in place.”

Renard also singled out Yaya Toure for praise after saying he needed more from his skipper in the run-up to the game.

“Yaya Touré did his job well. He controlled the play, he was collective. For me, he had a very good game.

Renard added, “For those who are not satisfied, I would like to state that it was my 11th consecutive AFCON match without a defeat. So I know what I am doing.”

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