Hector Cuper: I enjoy managing Egypt
Egypt boss Hector Cuper spoke about the key points in the national team’s first friendly match against Portugal and expressed his happiness leading the Pharaohs.
Egypt, who qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 28 years, put in a respectable display controlling the tempo and flow of their game against Euro 2016 champions Portugal but suffered a killer loss as Cristiano Ronaldo scored two stoppage-time goals.
“I’m glad that our fans are happy with our performance against Portugal, such clashes can help you see how strong you are and whether you can compete with big teams or not,” he told ON Sport TV.
“There is this good feeling despite the loss. The players performed well but of course, nobody wants to loose,” he added. “It’s an important lesson for us, we need to make fewer mistakes during big matches.”
Cuper insisted that the national team did not achieve anything yet while pointing out that Egypt can compete with the big teams in the World Cup.
As for starting with Mohamed El-Shennawy, the Argentinian coach said that the technical staff was well aware of the goalkeeper’s development in the past period with Al Ahly.
“The goalkeeper needed to start his international career. We knew how hard and stressful the game was going to be but he also needed to gain our trust,” he explained.
“El-Shennawy possesses good experience as he plays for one of the best clubs in Egypt and Africa,” Cuper added. “Sometimes you need to make the decision and take full responsibility. Thankfully, the player performed well.”
Overall, Cuper said that he is happy managing the Egyptian national team and the current squad players. He also said that some players perform very well with the national team even though they are not playing regularly with their clubs because of the way the team plays. Additionally, players try to prove themselves when playing on a national level.
“I enjoy leading this group of players, they have good abilities and special features,” he said. “I am happy in Egypt. Let’s see what’s going to happen in the future regarding the contract extension.”
“I was not aware of the state of national teams in Africa before I came here, but when I was offered to manage Egypt and start the challenge to take the team to the World Cup, that was something that made me ignore any financials,” he added.
Egypt will be facing Greece on Tuesday in their second and final game of this international break which could be an opportunity to see the fresh faces that just joined the national team.
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