No excuses as Egypt target eighth Nations Cup title, says coach Cuper

Cuper says lack of experience in AFCON is his biggest challenge but Egypt are in Gabon to win the title

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Jan 2017,
Egypt's Argentinean coach Hector Cuper (AP)

Egypt coach Hector Cuper admitted his lack of experience at the African Cup of Nations is his biggest challenge in Gabon but that his team, who are equally inexperienced in the continent's prestigious showpiece, are targeting nothing but the coveted title.

"This is my first AFCON, as most of the [Egypt's] players. Difficulty lies in lack of experience," Cuper told a news conference in Gabon Sunday, two days before the Pharaohs begin their campaign against Mali.

"I can make many other excuses like heat and humidity but our only target is to win the eighth title ... We will fight for that. Fans expect a great success and I asked my players to challenge any difficulty and prove their worth to the whole world."

Egypt will also face Uganda on 21 January before meeting heavyweights Ghana four days later in their final Group D game.

"At first, I wasn't happy that we would meet the same opponents [Ghana and Uganda] of Word Cup qualifiers but later I saw this as a positive point," Cuper said.

"I only think about the Mali game now. I want to win it before I start thinking about the following match," the 61-year-old tactician concluded.

Egypt won the last of their record seven titles in 2010 in Angola, before failing to qualify for three straight tournaments. 

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