Africa Cup of Nations veteran Claude Le Roy has downplayed his Democratic Republic of Congo side's prospects at the 2013 edition starting next month in South Africa. Frenchman Le Roy knows what it takes to claim the continental showpiece, having guided Cameroon to take the 1988 title and then helped Ghana into third place on home soil in 2008.
Assessing his 2013 Nations Cup chances in his second stint as coach of The Leopards, the 64-year-old tactician said on Monday: "We're not favourites, far from it." Le Roy, who had a brief two month spell in charge of Syria's national team in 2011 before linking up with DRC, and his Nations Cup squad left Kinshasa Monday for the South African Indian Ocean port city of Port Elizabeth for a pre-Cup training camp.
Before leaving he said: "We're taking 41 players for 23 places, the battle will be tough and it's for the players to show that they want above all to take part in the 2013 Nations Cup," he said. "I'm not here to hand out presents to anyone but to put together what I believe is the best team possible."
Le Roy's side are drawn in Group B with his former team and 2012 semi-finalists Ghana, Mali and Niger.
The competition runs from January 19 to Feburary 10.