Yaya Toure allays injury fears

The Manchester City man took a heavy knock in Cote d’Ivoire’s Africa Cup of Nations win over Cameroon but he says he will be fit to face Algeria in the quarter-finals

Yaya Toure has soothed fears surrounding his fitness after being forced off in the closing stages of Cote d’Ivoire’s Africa Cup of Nations clash with Cameroon.

The Manchester City midfielder limped off after being upended by a strong challenge from Stephane M’Bia but insisted afterwards that his participation in Sunday’s quarter-final clash with Algeria was not in doubt.

“There is no problem,” Toure stated as he boarded his team’s bus after their 1-0 win in Malabo.

Cote d’Ivoire clinched victory, and top spot in Group D, thanks to Max Gradel’s stunning strike 36 minutes into the first half.

However, Elephants boss Herve Renard was more pleased by his side’s defensive display against Cameroon, and the performance of Serge Aurier in particular, with the Paris Saint-Germain full-back having done a fine job on the right flank.

“He shut down that corridor, and played very well,” the Cote d’Ivoire coach stated.

“Sometimes he wants to go forward too much and we showed him the videos [after the 1-1 draw with Guinea]; it was not what we expect from a PSG player.

“But he is intelligent enough to see his mistakes and Serge is a very, very important player for us.”

Looking ahead to Sunday, Renard revealed that he rates Algeria as the “number one” team in African football.

The 46-year-old Frenchman has first-hand experience of the country, having worked there as a club manager at USM Algers in 2011, but is now intent on ending their hopes of Afcon glory.

“That experience n Algeria was very good for me,” he said. “I would like to greet the fans and president of USM as I spent a great time there. But now I must make them cry at the weekend.”

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