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Nabil ready for AFCON challenge

Posted on 12 January 2015  - 14:38

Nabil Bentaleb is refusing to get carried away by Algeria’s impressive form in qualifying for the African Cup of Nations ahead of his country’s first game at the tournament finals.


The 20-year-old midfielder reported for international duty following our 5-3 win at home to Chelsea on New Year’s Day and is set to remain with the Greens throughout the forthcoming competition in Equatorial Guinea.

Having represented his nation with distinction at last year’s World Cup in Brazil, Nabil played his part in a highly successful African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign in the months that followed – Algeria winning five of their six matches en route to the tournament finals.

But, after warming up for the competition with a 1-1 friendly draw with Tunisia on Sunday, the France-born midfield combatant is maintaining a cautious approach ahead of his side’s tournament opener against South Africa next Monday.

“Of course I was gutted to leave Tottenham for a while, but my country is counting on me,” said Nabil, who has scored once in 17 first team appearances this season.

“I have to assume my duties and play for my country and that’s what I’m doing.

“The qualifying campaign is different from the actual tournament, so we have to give it our best and hopefully we can manage to do something.

“We have tremendous players, we have very good talent and we are still a young side, but we have a few experienced players who we can take some lessons from.

“We have to keep our feet on the ground, work hard and hopefully it will go right for us.”