Performance against Tanzania was normal, Egypt have high quality players like Salah: Assistant coach Garcia

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Saturday 15 Jun 2019,
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Assistant coach Garcia
Egypt assistant coach Tito Garcia (L) with head coach Javier Aguirre during a recent training session (Photo: EFA's official facebook page)

The Egyptian national football team’s recent intensive training programme was the reason behind the team’s shaky performance in the last minutes of Thursday's African Cup of Nations warm-up win over Tanzania, according to assistant coach Tito Garcia, who added that Egypt have high quality players like star winger Mohamed Salah.

"It was an ordinary friendly match ahead of the African Cup. The game started strong with an attacking strategy, but after 60 or 70 minutes the performance declined and that is normal since we train twice daily," Garcia told Time Sport TV channel late on Friday.

"We played very well in the first half, but we didn't create strong chances against the goal. It was the first match amid our current programme to prepare the players physically, especially those who are exhausted after ending the season recently," he added.

Egypt is hosting this year’s Nations Cup, which has been expanded to 24 teams and will take place from 21 June to 19 July.

The Pharaohs claimed the narrow win over Tanzania on Thursday in the first friendly of the final preparatory camp. They will face Guinea on Sunday in the final warm-up match.

"We know that we are among the favourites to win the tournament, especially since we are playing at home and among our fans," Garcia explained.

"There are five or six other favourites like Senegal, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, but we are playing in Cairo and we will do our best to win the title.

"Sure Salah is a great player and he is currently in the top rank alongside Messi and Ronaldo, but we also have other players who can be like him one day.

"Five years ago Salah was not who he is today. Egypt have highly-skilled and young players and if they remained at the same level we could have other players like Salah," he added.

The record seven-time African champions Egypt will play in Group A along with DR Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Egypt will kick off the tournament by playing Zimbabwe on 21 June.

"We as a team try to score from the first minute, but if we fail like what happened against Tanzania, we will need full support from our fans. We should be together always," the assistant coach said.

With Javier Aguirre at the helm, the Pharaohs are seeking to win the precious title for the first time since 2010, the last of their record seven victories.

Egypt reached the final of the 2017 edition, only to lose 2-1 to Cameroon.

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Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1