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Egypt manager talks tactics as team lands in Santiago

Shawky Gharib

Following 35 hours of travel, the Egyptian national team is finally in Santiago ahead of Friday’s friendly international against Chile.

Manager Shawky Gharib doesn’t think the long trip – which included stops in Amsterdam and Córdoba – will have a negative impact on the team’s performance.

“It was a long trip, but we also had several stops and some rest in between.”

Gharib, who succeeded former manager Bob Bradley after Egypt failed to qualify for next month’s FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil, says the team’s approach won’t be too different than it was in his first match in charge, a 2-0 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina in March.

“Our approach will depend on the circumstances surrounding the specific match, and that will change from time to time. But overall, our tactical plan will remain consistent, with some tweaks here and there.

“I can assure you there are a number of teams in the upcoming World Cup that play the same [3-5-2] formation that we do, with some variation. Chile plays the same way we do, the Netherlands plays the same way we do, Italy plays the same way we do,” he added.

However, the 55-year-old coach also pointed out it’s the players that ultimately decide winning and losing.

“Every match has its circumstances, and the players need to have the ability to adapt. Tactics will change with the times, but the most important thing is to have players that can understand and execute what you’re trying to do.”

Tickets for the match are already sold out, according to local officials.

The Pharaohs will set off for London over the weekend in preparation for yet another contest, a Wednesday friendly against Jamaica.

Egypt is tuning up for 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, which kick-off in September. To qualify for the biennial event for the first time since 2010, the team will have to get through fellow North African power Tunisia and West African giants Senegal.

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