Egypt manager determined despite tough qualifying draw
Egypt manager Shawky Gharib says he’s determined to not only qualify, but advance deep into the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco on the heels of a tough qualifying draw.
The Pharaohs, no strangers to tough group draws, were paired with Senegal and North African neighbors Tunisia along with a third opponent to be determined later by a preliminary qualifying round.
“I have a target and it is to qualify for the finals in Morocco,” said Gharib, who was former Egypt manager Hassan Shehata’s top assistant during the team’s back-to-back-to-back African Cup of Nations title run between 2006 and 2010.
Gharib took over as Egypt manager following the departure of American tactician Bob Bradley late last year and led Egypt to a 2-0 over World Cup-bound Bosnia on his debut.
“It doesn’t matter what the names of the opponents are,” Gharib said.
“We are determined to take back the title we’ve been missing since 2010.”
Gharib guided Egypt to its best-ever finish at an international tournament when his team won bronze at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina.
Further complicating Egypt’s task is their schedule. Egypt both opens and closes its campaign on the road, starting with a trip to Dakar in September and concluding in Rades in November.
“We are ready for the anticipated clashes in September with a preparation plan I will be presenting to the [Egyptian] Football Association soon,” Gharib declared.
Egypt have won a record seven Africa Cup of Nations titles, three clear of nearest rivals Ghana and Cameroon.
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