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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Ahly can overcome dense match schedule, January departures not considered yet: Coach Youssef

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul, Saturday 8 Dec 2018
Ahly coach
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Names of Ahly's departing players at the winter transfer window aren't decided yet, according to Ahly's caretaker coach Mohamed Youssef who believes that the team can overcome the pressures of the dense match schedule despite the current absentees.

"The team is suffering from the absence of many key and experienced players, but at the same time I have full confidence in the current available players," Youssef told the club's official website on Saturday.

Ahly is already missing key players Mohamed El-Shenawi, Hossam Ashour, Ahmed Fathi, Ali Maaloul, Junior Ajayi, Salah Mohsen and Mohamed Nagiub.

Despite the absentees, Youssef, who took Ahly's charge after firing French coach Patrice Carteron following the African Champions League final loss last month, is confident the team can overcome the pressures of the dense match schedule in the Egyptian Premiere League.

"We are facing a busy league schedule in a limited time. We try to overcome this situation through resting some key players and also by injecting new blood into our line up," the coach explained.

"Every player will get his chance and everyone should prove his worth," he added.

The Reds have played just nine league matches as opposed to 16 played by other teams due to participating in both the Champions League and the Arab Club Champions Cup (Zayed Champions Cup).

Ahly currently lie at 10th place on the league table with 17 points from nine matches, 18 behind archrivals Zamalek, who played five matches more.

January departures

On Friday, Ahly made their second winter acquisition after completing the signing of Maqassa's left-back Mahmoud Wahid as they aim to rescue their season through enforcing the squad.

The Red Devils have also recently landed Wadi Degla's Egyptian international midfielder Mohamed Mahmoud, but Youssef insists the departing names in the winter transfer window aren't determined yet.

"All the reports about the departing players are just rumors. The matter isn't discussed yet as we are fully concentrated in passing December's matches in the Egyptian league and also at the CAF Champions League successfully," the coach explained.

El-Geish test

Ahly will be facing Talae El-Geish on Sunday in a postponed match from the 14th match day of the domestic league.

"We respect all our opponents. All the postponed matches have the same importance as our main target is to win all of them to regain our normal position in the league table," Youssef said.

"El-Geish delivered good performances this season, but we have strong ambitions to win a new league confrontation," he added.

On Wednesday, Ahly continued their recent revival in the Egyptian League following a run of poor form; beating Gouna 2-1 in the postponed game from week 7.

Should they win their rescheduled matches, they will only be three points behind leaders and arch-rivals Zamalek.

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