Cúper: We’re positive that we can stop Mali’s players
Egypt national team coach Héctor Cúper talked about his thoughts and preparations for Egypt’s 2017 AFCON opener against Mali.
The Pharaohs are currently getting ready for their first AFCON rendezvous in years as they will be facing Mali on Tuesday.
“I wasn’t happy to know that we’re going to face Ghana and Uganda again in AFCON. I wanted new competitors, but I shifted my thinking to something more positive,” Cúper said in his press conference ahead of Mali’s game.
“In football, you have to be ready to face obstacles. I have no previous experience in AFCON and I have never played in short-timed competitions, however, we’re deeply concentrated and have high hopes,” he added.
“We worked hard on the strategy that we will use in games, but emergencies might happen and this will change the way we will play, therefore there is a chance for switching players at the last minute.”
As for his choice for the starting goalkeeper for Mali’s encounter, Cúper assured that he already took a decision but will not announce it now since the match is in two days.
“It is hard to reveal a name now. Coaches usually have problems keeping all of their players ready to start,” Cúper explained.
It is worth mentioning that Sherif Ekramy recently suffered a hamstring injury on Wednesday and is waiting to know whether he will be able to participate with the national team or not.
“I know that some don’t like such strategies but it will probably stay the same, as Mali has players who possess speed and height. We need to maintain our defensive position,” he added.
“We’re positive that we can stop Mali’s players. It is also possible that the team start more offensively in the next period,” Egypt’s coach pointed out.
Cúper concluded by confirming that Egypt will compete for the title but he won’t make any promises to win the AFCON.
“Right now we’re only thinking about our match against Mali, we’ll think each step at a time,” he concluded.
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