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Cuper: Fathi is selfish? He played a good game

Héctor Cúper

Egypt national team manager Héctor Cúper spoke about Egypt’s qualification to the final round of World Cup qualification, Kahraba and Mostafa Fathi’s performances, and the upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers in a post-match press conference.

The 59-year-old expressed his happiness with Egypt’s result against Chad in the second leg of the second round of the World Cup qualifiers, but also emphasized that there’s room for improvement.

“I’m very happy with Egypt’s win against Chad not because of the score, but because of the players’ character on the pitch despite their young age,” explained Cúper. “I was afraid age and inexperience would impede their performance after the result of the first leg, but we were able to control the tempo of the game.”

“Of course there were some mistakes, but they can be fixed; in general, the players performed really well,” he added.

“It is normal for the play to slow down in the second half after scoring four goals in the first. No team can play perfect football for 90 minutes and score 14 without conceding.”

Cuper claimed, “I was happy to see the fans in the stadium and I promise touring them happiness by qualifying to the World Cup.”

When asked about Mostafa Fathi and Mahmoud Kahraba, Héctor Cúper had nothing to give but praise to both players, dismissing claims of the pair being selfish on the field.

“Fathi demonstrated excellent football today, he just lacked the luck to score,” he explained. “Don’t forget he is still young. You shouldn’t pressure him with these claims [selfishness], I don’t know of a perfect footballer.”

“Kahraba is a young player with great skills, and we should just wait until he gains more experience,” he said, and then continued, “I gave him certain roles on the field and he carried them out.”

Cúper declared, “Why are all the questions critical of the players? They are the future of Egyptian football. We should support them instead of criticizing and pressuring them if we want to fulfill the dream of reaching the World Cup.”

The Argentinian made clear his plans of improving Egypt’s FIFA World Ranking by winning the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Nigeria on March 23, 2016 and Tanzania on June 3, 2016.

“Winning our upcoming matches in order to improve Egypt’s FIFA rankings before the final draw of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers is important in determining our group,” he concluded.

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