Zamalek's coaching staff were left feeling the pressure after Tuesday’s goal-less draw against ENPPI in round 18 of the Egyptian Premier League.
“I was shocked at the players’ performance. They didn’t accomplish even 20 per cent of their tasks during the match,” Zamalek general trainer Tarek Soliman said after the match.
The Cairo giants’ football director, Ibrahim Hassan, took a different view of the match, hailing his players by asserting that the defensive tactics of their opponents proves the strength of Zamalek’s front line.
“We are under pressure as we almost play a game every three days but we will be back at our highest level when we have a full squad,” Ibrahim Hassan confirmed.
The Egyptian league leader's are without several important players. As well as injured duo Amr Zaki and Mohamed Aoudia, they have lost Mohamed Ibrahim and Omar Gaber who are on national duty with the young Pharaohs.
The White Knights’ chances were few against ENPPI resulting in the failure to secure a third successive win, having defeated Haras El-Hodoud and Petrojet in two tough encounters following the league’s resumption earlier this month.
The clash’s climax was Mahmoud Fathallah's missed penalty, for the second successive match.
“Fathallah shouldn’t have taken the penalty kick,” admitted Soliman.
On the other hand, ENPPI football director Alaa Abdel-Sadek expressed his satisfaction with the draw, asserting that the result a fair reflection on both sides.
“Zamalek attacks were dangerous, especially in the second half but our midfielders have stuck to the tactics and stopped the opponents’ strikes,” Abdel-Sadek confirmed.
ENPPI stay in sixth place in the table with 28 points while the leaders, Zamalek, on 39 points, are seven points ahead of their arch-rivals Ahly. The difference could be reduced to four if they beat El-Masry on Friday.