Burkina Faso coach Paul Put wants his charges to maintain their impressive defensive organisation and tactical discipline when they face favourites Ghana in today’s second semi-final.
The Stallions have conceded only once, against Nigeria, and the Belgian believes if they can maintain their tactical discipline, “they can show what they are capable of.”
“I hope we continue with our fine run all the way to the finals,” Put told a packaged press conference, joking that Burkina Faso has now become a hot property thanks to their fine performance since the first day.
“I want the press conferences to be packed like this. I think we should qualify for the finals so that you continue coming here,” the media-savvy coach said.
The defensive partnership of Bakary Kone (4), Koffi Mohamed (5), Paul Keba (8) and Mady Panandetiguiri (12) has been near impregnable.
And the coach Put said of the defensive discipline: “Hopefully, they can maintain the same discipline, organisation and motivation.
“If they were able to contain Adebayor (Emmanuel), then for sure they should be motivated to play against the big names be it Gyan or Didier Drogba,” Put said.
He added: “We prepared with a lot of concentration and serenity. I know that having played four matches in this stadium it has become our home now. I hope this will be a psychological advantage to Burkina Faso.”
The Stallions have confounded pundits by qualifying for the semi-finals for the first time since 1998 when they hosted the tournament.
They face an unconvincing Ghana side under pressure to return what their talented roster promises on paper.
“When we left Ouagadougou, I was told to perform better than the other occasions. I can assure you it is already party time in Ouagadougou. Now that we are in the semis we will be under no pressure because we have already achieved what we came to do here.” Put said.
Team captain Moumouni Dagano downplayed the absence of forward Alain Traore who tore a muscle against Zambia and was ruled out of the tournament.
“It is a shame that Alain Traore is not in the team, but as the coach has been saying we will have to play for him and carry the day.
“It is been our dream to play better than the 1998 team. The good thing is we got the blessings from members of that team.”