Rabah Saadane believes his Algeria team are a step closer to where they want to be for the FIFA World Cup™, but still plans to work on certain aspects of their game after their final warm-up match against United Arab Emirates yesterday.

The Desert Hawks, in the same group as England for the finals, won 1-0 thanks to a second-half penalty from Karim Ziani that ended a run of four consecutive losses.

Attention will now turn to their tournament opener against Group C rivals Slovenia in Polokwane next Sunday. Saadane, whose side were boosted by the return from injury of several players including defender Madjid Bougherra, said: "This game was a good test for us. It was very tough and a high level.

"It demonstrated the capabilities of the team, especially with the players returning from injury and took us a step closer to where we want to be. There was a lot of willingness on the part of players, who have given a great deal in these last few weeks."

The coach also acknowledged there remains work to do if they are to challenge for a place in the knockout stages from a section that, in addition to England and Slovenia, also includes USA. He continued: "I must also stress that there were many positives and also negatives.

"Among the positives are the physicality of the players. We played an attacking game today to try and win, given our status as a World Cup team. There were many problems with ball retention. No one could keep the ball and I asked the players at half-time to improve on this and they did in the second half. There are still some problems in attack, where our finishing was lacking. Hopefully we'll have this during the World Cup."

Saadane was also relieved that his side came through the game without any further injury scares. He added: "Thanks to God there have been no injuries at the end of the game."