- "I was thinking about all the scenarios, and if I said there was no pressure, I would be lying," Fae said.
- He said despite seeking advice from the technical bench, final decisions rested on him.
Ivory Coast coach Emerse Fae broke his silence for the first time after his team's victory over Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 clash on Monday.
Fae who replaced Jean-Loius Gasset in the hot seat, admitted to feeling immense pressure before kick-off.
He said he lacked sleep owing to the importance of the game, especially to the Ivorians as he imagined the repercussions of the result at full time.
"There was a lot of pressure before the match, and the match day was too long for me. I couldn't nap as usual; I was thinking about all the scenarios, and if I said there was no pressure, I would be lying," Fae said.
Fae has had little time to work with the players after his appointment barely three days ago. The former international revealed halftime pep talk was catalytical to their turnaround in fortunes.
They drew 1-01 in regulation time before the Ivorians triumphed on post-match penalties 5-4.
"We had a difficult start to the match; we conceded an early goal, and as I mentioned before the match, against a team like Senegal, anything can happen. At halftime, I told the players that they should continue playing the same way, and not get confused," Fae said.
He said despite seeking advice from the technical bench, final decisions rested on him.
"I communicated with my staff during the match, and in the end, it was my decision on what needed to be done, which was different from the previous coach, Gasset, where I would give an opinion, and he would make the decision.
"Qualifying from the group stage after Morocco's victory gave us confidence. We beat Senegal and eliminated them; morale is good. We must not stop here; we must continue working, maintain the morale we have gained, and keep playing match by match," he said.