Ahly have players capable of filling Dieng's shoes against Zamalek: Koller

Ahram Online , Thursday 27 Oct 2022

Ahly coach Marcel Koller said he has players who can fill in for his injured Malian star midfielder Aliou Dieng, who will miss the Super Cup against Zamalek in the UAE on Friday due to a muscle injury.

Marcel Koller
Ahly coach Marcel Koller speaks during the press conference on Thursday 27 October, 2022. Photo courtesy of Al-Ahly Facebook page.


“Aliou Dieng is an important player for us, but we have a lot of players to replace him,” the 62-year-old Swiss tactician said during the pre-match press conference.

The 25-year-old midfielder suffered from a muscle injury during the Red Devils's last game in the Egyptian Premier League against Aswan SC and was substituted at half-time.

Ahly veteran midfielder Amr El-Soulaya, 33, who came off the bench in the last two games, is likely to start on Friday.

“I have been here for six weeks. I got to know the team. Every day I gain confidence from the fans and the players. The important thing is playing our football,” Koller added.

"It is very important to play beautiful football, but winning matches is more important. And if we can do both, we will earn much praise." the Swiss coach said.

In an answer to a question about his role in signing during the summer transfer window, Koller said “I took charge shortly before the end of the transfer window. I did not have enough time to determine which players the club needed for the new season."

“It is true that we are playing against a big team like Zamalek, but we are also a big team," he stressed.

"It will be a big match because we are currently at the top of the league jointly with Zamalek - and Ittihad,” Koller said.

In an answer to a question about how he deals with gruesome schedules of matches, Koller said “The schedule is not the most important thing. I deal with one match at a time. For me, the next match against the next competitor is always the most important match."

A 'winner generation'

In the presser, Ahly first choice goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy stressed that the championship game against the While Knights will be a strong one.

“The whole team understands the importance of the match between Ahly and Zamalek. But in the end, we are friends and brothers. It's normal. After the game, we shake hands with each other and we all meet again in the national team.” the 33-year-old Egypt international said.

On failing to win any domestic title last season, El-Shenway explained: “It was a hard time for us and it happens to any team in the world. We have been strained for long periods but we are a great team and the best in Africa."

"People say we lost the domestic league and cup titles last year. But, rememer,this generation of players has won many titles," he said.

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