Jalel Kadri, the coach of Tunisia, has admitted that his team is in a difficult group at the 2022 World Cup but insists their target is to reach the second round of the tournament in Qatar.
The Carthage Eagles were drawn in a group with the reigning champions, France and Denmark, semi-finalists of Euro 2021, following Friday’s draw in Doha.
Apart from France and Denmark, Tunisia will also face the winner of the play-off between the United Arab Emirates, Australia and Peru.
The Tunisia tactician, who was appointed in January to take full charge of the Carthage Eagles after being the assistant coach, assured supporters of the national team that his players will bravely fight their opponents to reach the second round.
“The draw for the Qatar 2022 World Cup has placed Tunisia in a difficult group but we will play with the objective of reaching the second round for the first time in our history,” Kadri said following the draw in the Qatari capital.
Regarding the clash with France scheduled for November 30, Kadri admits that the Blues are the favourites of pundits for the game but insists they will be no pushovers.
“France is an opponent that we respect enormously. They are the title holders so it’s a big challenge. There is a large population of Tunisians in France, as we know,” the coach of the Carthage Eagles said.
“We have players like Wahbi Khazri, one of our leaders playing in their top-flight league. We know it will be a complicated meeting. We will do our best to represent our national team in the best possible way.
The Tunisian coach is surrounded by two assistants, Selim Benachour (ex-PSG) and Ali Boumnijel (ex-Sochaux and Gueugnon), who know France well and the trainer hopes to rely on their experience.
“We will play without complex, we will do everything to honour the flag. We have seven months to prepare well,” Kadri added.
Known in world football circles, the Tunisian coach Wajdi Essid, also believes in the chances of the Carthage Eagles to reach the second round.
“Now that we have achieved the first objective and are qualified for the final phase of the World Cup, we must focus now on our second objective: to qualify for the second round.
The sporting public no longer accepts that we go to the World Cup again to content ourselves with playing the three matches of the first round and returning home,” said the coach of Saudi Arabian side Al Wahda.