Morroco coach Herve Renard has fallen under pressure after his side suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to the Gambia on Wednesday.
The Atlas Lions are considered as one of the favourites for the tournament but their recent results have been far from ideal. The friendly game was billed as a game to build on but the team looked sluggish and unfit.
The Gambians took the lead from star player Musa Barrow and Morroco could not find any rhythm in the game. After the match, the Reinard was criticised by the local media who believe that he is not the man to lead the team to their first triumph since 1976.
Morocco have usually disappointed at the Cup of Nations and Renard was appointed to be the man to deliver the trophy for the North Africans. Reinard is one of the most successful coaches on the African stage having won the Cup of Nations twice with Zambia and Ivory Coast. He revealed after the game that his side lacked sharpness and inspiration but believes that the team would recover from the slump.
Recounting his experience with Zambia, Renard believes that the criticism is unfair but looks forward to delivering the title for the Atlas Lions. Morroco would be expected to make a deep run in the competition as this is one of their best squads in a decade. Led by former Juventus star Mehdi Benatia, the squad has star players like Hakimi from Dortmund and Ajax ace Hakim Ziyech.
Renard has developed a patient passing game which utilises the wings and it remains to be seen if this would work in a tournament. It is a bit premature from the local media to dismiss the prospect of the team after a game. Renard is a veteran who would be going for his sixth nations cup and the country have to support the players and the coaching staff if they are to break their duck.