Senegal’s head coach, Aliou Cissé, was in confident mood at the press conference before his side face Japan in Group H. Francis R Malasig|EPA
European Photopress Agency

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has hit back at his former Teranga Lions teammates El-Hadji Diouf, Amdy Faye and Alassane Ndour for their continuous attacks on him.

The Senegal crop of 2002 in the Korea/Japan World Cup, captained by Cisse, captured the imagination of the world when they reached the last-eight in their debut appearance at the tournament.

Inevitably, the current side drew comparisons from the Class of 2002.

Following Senegal’s failure to reach the knockout phase of this year’s World Cup, calls for the axing of Cisse have grown louder from a section of fans as well as former players.

Cisse’s team selection and tactics have come under heavy criticism especially the exclusion from the World Cup squad of Crystal Palace full-back Pape Souare, Newcastle United’s Mohamed Diame, Saint-Etienne left-back Cheikh Mbengue and Pape Kouly Diop of La Liga side Eibar.

But the former Paris Saint Germain utility player dismissed comments by his former teammates as he announced his squad for next month’s 2019 Afcon qualifier against Madagascar.

“I accept criticism when it’s constructive,” Cisse said at the press conference.

“They must first accept that I am the national coach and that I make the decisions. After that there is no problem we can discuss. I speak with some of them and they have their own vision, but I’m the coach.

“Especially that they are not even trainers so they should let me do my job.”

Senegal Football Federation president Augustin Senghor recently backed Cisse against criticism by Diouf.

Cisse and his players are expected to group in Paris on September 3 before flying out to Madagascan capital Antananarivo.

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