Ahly’s manager Jose backs Egypt’s Shehata

Eslam Omar, Monday 6 Jun 2011

In an unsurprising move, Manuel Jose offers support for Egypt’s Hassan Shehata after the national team's coach failed to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations

Manuel Jose

Ahly’s Portuguese coach, Manuel Jose, urged Egyptian football fans to avoid over-criticising the players after their disappointing goalless draw against South Africa on Sunday in the 2012 African Cup of Nations (ACN) qualifiers.

“Shehata and his squad have achieved glory in Egyptian football, dominating in Africa for years so we shouldn’t attack them,” Jose said after Ahly’s Monday morning training session.

Egyptian National team coach Hassan Shehata was able to win three successive ACN -- 2006, 2008 and 2010 -- while he is likely to miss the 2012 championship.

“The Egyptian national coaching staff follow the same strategy we do in selecting players as they combine experienced players with juniors and this is good,” stated the Portuguese boss.

The Pharaohs are currently at the bottom of the Group G table with two points, behind South Africa (eight), Niger (six) and Sierra Leone (five) at the halfway stage.

The Red Devils manager also referred to the Pharaohs calling system which sees players summoned ten days before the match, demanding instead that the Egyptian Football Association stick to international regulations and call squad members four days before.

“The problem is that football circumstances haven’t been changed even after the revolution,” he said.

The Cairo giants will resume their title race on Friday when they meet Petrojet after levelling at 46 points with leaders and arch-rivals Zamalek who set to take on Al-Shorta on Thursday.

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