• The West Africans sacked boss Jean-Louis Gasset after a third-placed finish in Group A left the hosts on the brink of exiting the tournament.
• Ivory Coast have been boosted by the return of Brighton winger Simon Adingra and Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastien Haller from injury, with the latter playing a part in the move which won a late penalty against Senegal.
Former Cote d'Ivoire international Emmanuel Eboue has credited interim coach Emerse Fae for bringing a “positive atmosphere” to the Elephants after upheaval in the dugout during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
The West Africans sacked boss Jean-Louis Gasset after a third-place finish in Group A left the hosts on the brink of exiting the tournament.
But, after progressing as one of the four best third-placed sides and a failed bid to have Herve Renard return as coach, Fae guided Cote d'Ivoire to a place in the quarter-finals by beating holders Senegal on penalties in the last 16.
“Our country normally doesn’t need any coaching because all the players are good,” ex-Arsenal defender Eboue told the BBC World Service.
“They all play in good clubs in Europe so we just need someone who can talk to them nicely and bring a positive atmosphere to the group.
“This team were down and now they are up. They are so happy to play as a team and they have more confidence because they beat Senegal. “I know (Emerse) having played against him and with him, so I am happy for him.”
Cote d'Ivoire will now play Mali in the quarter-finals in Bouake on Saturday (17:00 GMT).
After a couple of days of uncertainty where the Elephants needed results in other groups to progress to the knock-out stages, Eboue thinks the squad now have a clean slate.
“When I spoke to the players before, they were all down,” Eboue, 40, said.
“When Morocco beat Zambia, it meant we qualified for the second round and we were so, so happy.
“All of us talked together and said we have to forget about what happened in the group.”
Cote d'Ivoire have been boosted by the return of Brighton winger Simon Adingra and Borussia Dortmund striker Sebastien Haller from injury, with the latter playing a part in the move that won a late penalty against Senegal.
These Afcon finals have produced several shock results, and Cote d'Ivoire are the second-highest-ranked team left in the tournament after knocking out the defending champions.
Eboue is full of confidence that the Elephants can go on and add to the continental titles they won in 1992 and 2015.
“We have Haller back and there is belief in the team, so I know the team are going to go forward and win the cup,” he said.
“I am so excited because they beat Senegal so now we have to go forward and play like we did against Senegal and try to do our best against Mali. “The Afcon is in our country and people wish the country will win the cup. So many people are waiting for it.”