Cuper: Victory our primary target against Russia
Egypt are preparing for their second fixture in the 2018 World Cup Group A against the hosts Russia in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.
Egypt lost 1-0 to Uruguay in heartbreaking fashion as Jose Maria Gimenez scored a towering header in the dying minutes, while Russia crushed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in football’s most prestigious event’s opening game in the same group.
“We set our plan for the game. We aim for the victory and we will not give up on our dream. We will not play for a draw because it will not benefit us. Our main objective is to win and we will play for that,” Cuper said in the pre-match press conference.
“Salah is completely ready for the Russia tie. He will undergo a last fitness test on Tuesday morning and I am sure about his availability and ability to face Russia. Russia’s coach plan to stop Salah? Every manager has his strategy and prepares his players according to his philosophy.”
“However, there is not only one player on the pitch. The Russian national team will face a whole team, he will not be able to focus on Salah only. I don’t feel anxiety about the fact we didn’t score in the last few games, we have a strong group of players and we attain the desire to win and bring the three points home.”
The Argentine manager responded on to whether he is willing to change his playing method against Russia, where he hinted that Egypt have their own style of play which is hard to change right now.
“We play with balance against the best teams in the world and every game is very difficult. We were unlucky against Uruguay but I am sure that our chance will come. I will repeat what I said before, when competition intensifies games become more complex.”
“We have our personality and playing style that does not appeal to some at times but this is our method. We were not missing in the offensive phase against Uruguay but we missed the final touch.”
“Salah is now one of the best 10 players in the world and I am definitely honoured to coach him. He is very humble and embraces the team spirit besides his great skills. He is always important for the team and he showed how decisive he is in front of goal with Roma and Liverpool, along with Egypt.”
“Salah is an important weapon and we feel his absence when he is not playing. He is special and we hope that he can be at his best for the game,” he concluded.
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