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Hector Cuper: I promise to do our best
“I know well the importance of this game,” Hector Cuper told CAFonline.com, as the Pharaohs prepared to depart for Kaduna, Nigeria.
“Everyone is waiting for this match, and this makes it a double edged weapon. Winning will put us on the right track; losing will mean pressure on our shoulders. I promise we will do everything we can. I have been a coach for a very long time, and never promised to win a game. We will do our best, that’s what I can promise,” he continued.
With the overwhelming majority of his squad – 16 players – coming from Cairo giants Al Ahly and Zamalek, the Argentine expressed his satisfaction with both teams recent African exploits.
“Seeing Ahly and Zamalek progressing in the CAF Champions League was very important for the Pharaohs, both mentally and technically,” he explained.
The 60-year-old also praised his European-based players, including Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny and AS Roma’s Mohamed Salah.
“They have been awesome in the recent weeks, and hopefully they will continue their in-form performances. Nigeria is a talented team with strength and pace and we have to match them on the field. I believe in my work; I believe in my players. I’m positive we are going to do a good job. That’s the spirit we need,” Cuper concluded.
Kickoff is scheduled for 18:00 CLT on Friday, with the home fixture to be played the following Tuesday in Alexandria.