Senegal coach Aliou Cisse believes his side can cope without their star forward Sadio Mane when they meet Tanzania in their opening 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) game at the 30 June Stadium on Sunday.
The Liverpool attacker has been suspended for the encounter with the Taifa Stars due to his accumulation of yellow cards during the qualifiers.
Mane has scored 16 goals in 60 appearances for the Terenga Lions and emerged as the 2018/19 Premier League joint top scorer with 22 goals.
Although displeased with the unavailability of the 27-year-old, Cisse is confident of a good replacement for his forward.
“It is better to play with Sadio Mane,” Cisse said, per Sport221.
“Now that he is not here, we will have to adapt to his absence. We have 23 players who are able to do the job and do the job properly. It’s the national team that’s important.
“Today, it is the collective that interests us more than ever, the collective must overcome the absence of Sadio Mané.
“We are not in a dynamic of negative thinking. We work to win and we work to make good results. And, as I said, the negative aspect is not part of our way of seeing things and our thinking.”
After their opener game against Tanzania, they will square up with Algeria on June 27 before wrapping up their Group C fixtures against Kenya on July 1.
Senegal has never won the Afcon title, with their best outing being in the 2002 edition where they finished as runners-up after losing to Cameroon in the final.