Ivory Coast coach, Sabri Lamouchi, has to solve a major predicament about the role of his ageing star, Didier Drogba.
Lamouchi decided to leave Drogba on the bench in their first match, but it was Drogba’s substitution which inspired the team to overturn a one-goal disadvantage in the second half.
"I was disappointed not to start," Drogba said in a post-match interview after the 2-1 victory over Japan.
"But I have to show my respect to those that started."
Lamouchi is likely to stick with Wilfred Bony, who scored the equalizer against Japan, as his main striker and Drogba could find himself on the bench again when his side face Colombia later today.
"I am in charge of a group, not one player," Lamouchi said during Wednesday's pre-match press conference.
"If you are talking to me about an idol like Didier, he knows how important he is to the team.
"We are in complete agreement -- obviously he might be disappointed not to start, but his investment in the group shows he is very dedicated."
Last Sunday, the Elephants played at 22.00 hrs local time (03:00 am SA time) and their next hurdle is a fixture today against Colombia starting already at 13.00 hrs (18.00 hrs SA time).
“The players could suffer with this change because the intensity of training isn’t the same as playing in an official match. We need to prepare ourselves to the best of our abilities,” the coach added.
“My athletes are ambitious. I’m counting on their will power and if we can record a second successive win, it’ll be most gratifying.”
The Ivory Coast could top Group C tonight if they manage a win over Colombia who have already beaten Greece 3-0. This would mean an unprecidented quarter-finals qualification.
Do you think Didier Drogba should start for Ivory Coast? Have your say in the comment section below.