July 9, 2019 / 2:34 PM / 2 months ago

Soccer-Ivory Coast's Aurier pays price for table-thumping pep talk

CAIRO, July 9 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast captain Serge Aurier managed to injure himself again at the Africa Cup of Nations without playing — hurting his right hand while banging the table to encourage his team mates.

Aurier, still recovering from an ankle injury, sat out Monday’s 1-0 win over Mali in the last 16 but left the stadium with his hand in a splint.

“I hit the table,” he told reporters on Tuesday, detailing a fist-pumping and table-thumping halftime pep talk that while playing a role in the Ivorians’ winning the match hurt the Tottenham Hotspur defender.

“When you are at home and things are going wrong, our parents shouted at us. It was the same thing. We said a few truths to each other. Sometimes it feels good and I think the group needed it,” Aurier said.

“I told them we should not have any regrets, that we had the capacity to win the game. We just need to make a few adjustments. That’s what I said.”

Aurier hopes to be able to play in the quarter-final against Algeria in Suez on Thursday.

“I think I’m feeling better. There is still time before Thursday,” the 26-year-old right back added. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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