Congo DR midfielder Zola Matumona says his side must rediscover the mentality they possessed in 2006, when they reached the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations under coach Claude Le Roy.
It is the first time they have qualified for the tournament since that wonderful year for the Leopards, but a turbulent period on and off the pitch, with three different coaches taking the reins after Le Roy’s 2006 departure has not helped matters.
The Frenchman is back at the helm now, however, after taking up the post following Robert Nouzaret’s surprise departure in 2011; three days before a crucial 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Senegal.
“We’re not in any sort of position to be making demands,” Matumona told Fifa’s official website. “We mustn’t forget everything we went through after Claude left in 2006.
“We need to listen to what the coach has to say, as he’s already proven to our country that he know’s what he’s talking about.
“Reaching this Africa Cup of Nations is proof of the good work that’s been done for over a year now, so now we’ve got to show we know what we’re doing and stay fully focused in every match.
“The fans may have plenty to say, but we’ve got to concentrate on playing. If we all start thinking we’re stars, we won’t achieve anything. We’ve got to stick to that mantra. If Claude can’t help us do it, nobody can.
“We’re only a small footballing nation, so we shouldn’t put too much pressure on ourselves. The most important thing is to rediscover the mentality we showed in 2006.
“I just know that if we achieve something positive [in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations], we’ll go on to reach the World Cup.”
Congo DR were drawn in Group B alongside Ghana, Mali and Niger. They begin their Africa Cup of Nations with a clash against Ghana on January 20.