Ahly’s coach Patrice Carteron has said the loss of the CAF Champions League title is why he was stricter with his players ahead of the clash against Emirati team Al-Wasl in the Zayed Champions Cup Round 16 second leg on Thursday.
“Losing the Champions League is a failure that we have to admit. We have no choice other than winning against Al-Wasl in order to make the fans happy and convince them that we are a good team who can compete and can get out of this stumble,” Carteron told Ahly TV late Wednesday.
“The players accept it when I am sometimes harsh. I have to be strict to raise the player’s level of concentration,” the 59-year-old coach added.
Carteron stressed that Al-Wasl game is just a start before turning to a very dense schedule in the domestic league. “I wish Al-Wasl game would be a return to winning,” he said.
The French manager revealed that due to the absence of some players, the match is a chance to field new blood. “It is a chance for them to perform in a way that would satisfy the technical staff and me personally,” Carteron added.
The Red Devils will be on the back foot when they face off with the Emirati side, after a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Alexandria on 28 October. The team is hoping for a return to their winning ways following the loss of the CAF Champions League title to Tunisia’s Esperance.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)