Gerets vows to stay on despite Morocco exit

Morocco coach Eric Gerets said he hoped to keep his job after two successive Group C defeats condemned one of the pre-tournament favourites to an early Africa Cup of Nations Cup.

"If they let me I'll continue but it is not up to me," the former Belgian international said after a 3-2 defeat to co-hosts Gabon in Libreville on Friday.

"If they are not happy with me, they'll let me know," added a coach hailed just weeks ago for bringing on an exciting young generation of players, many tipped for success at the tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

"For the last 15 months no one talked about me being a bad coach. It would be a surprise to me if I was let go but it can happen. In my job one day you can be king and the next day not."

Morocco's surprise early exit follows defeats to both Tunisia and Gabon.

They are left with a meaningless match against Niger, also eliminated, next week.

Morocco join Senegal on an early list of heavyweight casualties at a tournament one week old and already full of surprises.

"As long as I'm coach I'll take my responsibilities and keep with my philosophy. I know my players can do it, they've shown several times in the past. Of course I'm not happy to lose and I take final responsibility."