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Zamalek give Alex McLeish vote of confidence despite another stumble

Ahram Online , Saturday 16 Apr 2016
Alex McLeish
CAF African Champions League - Egypt's Zamalek v Algeria's Mouloudia Olympique Bejaia - Petro Sport stadium, Cairo, Egypt - 9/4/2016 - Alex McLeish, coach of Egypt's Zamalek, instructs during the game (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 1434

Zamalek backed Scottish coach Alex McLeish on Saturday, two days after the team's Egyptian Premier League hopes were dealt a severe blow following a goalless draw with Dakhleya.

The defending champions slipped a massive 11 points behind leaders Ahly with 11 matches remaining, and given the current superb run of their Cairo rivals, they are unlikely to stage a comeback and retain their title.

McLeish was appointed as Zamalek's boss in February as the club sought to rescue a faltering season that saw them change their coach three times with Portuguese Jesualdo Ferreira, who led them to the domestic double last term, Brazilian Marcos Paqueta and Mido leaving them for different reasons.

However, the team could only claim one win in three league matches under his guidance, losing 1-0 to Ismaily before being held by Dakhleya.

Recent reports suggested that Zamalek were lining up Egypt's all-time leading scorer Hossam Hassan, who had two spells in charge of the White Knights, as a replacement but chairman Mortada Mansour gave McLeish a vote of confidence.

"There are no negotiations whatsoever with Hossam Hassan. I haven't even seen him for several months," Mansour, an outspoken lawyer, said in a statement.

"McLeish will remain the coach until his contract expires at the end of the season, after which we will assess his performance before renewing the deal."

Zamalek next face Algeria's OM Bejaia in the second leg of the African Champions League round of 16 away from home on Tuesday. They are close to qualifying for the group stage after claiming a 2-0 first-leg win in Cairo.

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