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Friday, 14 December 2018

Preview: Jovovic's position on the line despite Zamalek improvement

Hatem Maher , Tuesday 2 Jan 2018
Jovovic
File photo of Zamalek coach Nebojsa Jovovic (Ahram)
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Coach Nebojsa Jovovic's position remains under threat despite Zamalek's improvement of late, with the club's outspoken chairman Mortada Mansour suggesting that he might leave soon.

Zamalek face Talae El-Geish in a rescheduled Egyptian Premier League game on Wednesday on the back of three straight wins and three clean sheets as the club reversed a poor run to keep alive their hopes of competing for the title.

Despite the recent fine results, Mansour was critical of Jovovic for reportedly demanding that some players leave in January, including out-of-favour winger Ahmed Refaat.

"We are not under the command of Nebojsa to release players upon his request," Mansour said in a television interview on Monday.

"If Nebojsa does not like Refaat and doesn't want to play him then another coach may arrive in the future and count on Refaat as one of his regular players. This may happen soon."

Zamalek are keen to continue their winning run at the expense of El-Geish to stay in touch with leading duo Ahly and Ismaily.

Ismaily are on top of the table with 37 points from 16 matches, with Ahly second on 33 points from 14 games and Zamalek fourth on 28 points from 15 matches.

Jovovic took over at the club last summer after leaving Al-Faisaly following a highly-successful spell in Jordan. He had limited time to prepare for the new season though and was criticised for failing to settle on a starting line-up, making several changes every game.

Under his guidance, Zamalek lost three and drew four of their first 15 matches.

The White Knights are busy identifying their January targets as the transfer window opens. They are seeking to land a right-back and are in talks with Etoile Sahel to sign Tunisian international defender Hamdi Nagguez.

They welcome back regular full backs Moayad Ajan and skipper Hazem Emam against El-Geish after they missed the late 1-0 win over Assiouty Sport due to injury. They will miss several key players through injury, including central defender Mahmoud Alaa and playmaking duo Mohamed Ibrahim and Ayman Hefni.  

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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