Ahly's 1-1 draw with Ismaily left their Egyptian Premier League hopes in tatters (Photo: Ahram)
In an implicit warning following a poor run of results, Ahly's chairman told coach Juan Carlos Garrido the club would never accept anything less than being crowned champions come the end of the season as pressure increases on the Spanish boss.
Although Garrido, who took over in the summer, steered Ahly to the Egyptian Super Cup and African Confederation Cup titles in his first season in charge, he was heavily criticised following some below-par displays in the domestic league.
Ahly's hopes of equaling their own record of winning the league title nine times in a row were dealt a serious blow following a 1-1 draw with rivals Ismaily last week which kept them eight points behind leaders and Cairo foes Zamalek, who look well-equipped to end an 11-year league drought.
Chairman Mahmoud Taher sat down with Garrido on Saturday to discuss the recent slump, Ahly said in a statement on their official website.
"In an honest and sincere discussion, the chairman told the manager that Ahly do not accept anything less than winning trophies and finishing on top. His role is to ensure that those requirements are fulfilled," the statement read.
"Garrido explained his view over the recent results and his vision for the coming period, promising that results will improve."
Ahly are struggling in a rebuilding phase that followed the retirement of some key players, including talismanic playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika, rock-solid defender Wael Gomaa and mercurial forward Mohamed Barakat.
Garrido has promoted several youngsters to the first team and signed two foreign players in January - Nigerian striker Peter Ebimobowei and Brazilian-German midfielder Hendrik Helmke.
However, the team have been mainly criticised for a porous defence which leaked 18 goals in 21 matches.
"The chairman stressed that the club is ready to fulfill all the requirements of Garrido and his assistants, including the signing of new players, as the team competes for domestic and continental trophies," Ahly added.
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