Egypt coach Shawky Gharib is unfazed by criticism over Egypt’s slump in FIFA’s monthly ranking after the team lost to Chile and drew with Jamaica in their recent friendly games.
The Pharaohs were made to pay for their defensive frailties against Chile, squandering a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 in Santiago before an experimental line-up missing the players of Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek could only manage a 2-2 draw with modest opponents Jamaica in London.
They fell 12 positions to the 36th place in the FIFA ranking for June but Gharib, who took over at Egypt following the departure of American tactician Bob Bradley, is not too concerned.
“I reject any criticism because of the ranking. We actually benefited from those two friendly games, playing against tough teams with different playing styles amid our preparations for the African Nations Cup qualifiers,” the 55-year-old told Ahram Spot on Friday.
“The primary purposes of those games are to try out different strategies, test new players and pinpoint our defensive and offensive weaknesses.”
Egypt, who missed out on the past two editions in 2012 and 2013, begin their Nations Cup qualifying campaign away to Senegal in September in Group G, which also includes Tunisia. The fourth team in the group is yet to be determined.
“I will soon draw up our plan for the coming phase, which is likely to include friendly games against the likes of Ivory Coast, Algeria, Morocco and Nigeria during our next training camp that will start in late July,” Gharib added.
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