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Bob Bradley: We studied Ghana well; we respect them, but not too much
“We did a lot of work. We studied Ghana well; we respect them, but not too much. We are a good team,” the American tactician said during a press conference at the Pharaohs’ camp on Wednesday.
The first leg between the Black Stars of Ghana and the Pharaohs of Egypt will be played on Tuesday 15th October at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
“We must be smart in Kumasi. We need to play with the right mentality; intellectually but with confidence.”
“The players are the ones who deserve all the credit because of their concentration during the group stage,” the former USMNT coach added.
Egypt’s return leg against Ghana is set to be held among the presence of fans at Cairo’s Air Defense Stadium on November 19; however, the Ghana Football Association have written to the world’s football governing body FIFA over the security concerns in Egypt and have asked for a ‘safer venue’ for the second leg tie of the 2014 World Cup qualifying match.
“I hope we can play in Cairo, as it will be my first match there. We play in many places without fans, but this match will be special,” Bradley said.
Bradley also spoke about the return of Al-Ahly players following Monday’s 1-1 draw against Coton Sport in Cameroon.
“The return of Ahly players to the camp after a positive draw away in the CAF Champions League semi-final lifted the spirit of the camp. They returned with high morale.
The 55-year-old coach defended his team which comprises of youth and experience, and he praised goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy – giving him credit for winning in their previous games.
Bradley also commented on the Black Stars’ key players, including Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari, saying, “We respect them, but not too much.”
“In Egypt, everyone speaks about their World Cup dream, regardless of their political background. Qualification could indicate that the country is moving forward,” Bradley concluded.
Centre-back and Egypt national team captain Wael Gomaa also spoke during the press conference, saying: “We promise all Egyptians that we will do our best to go to Brazil, especially following our good results in the previous round. We respect their players, but we are determined to win.”
The Pharaohs are eyeing their first World Cup appearance since 1990 while Ghana are seeking to reach the tournament for the third consecutive time, having reached the quarter finals in their last appearance in 2010.