Ahly coach Mohamed Youssef believes a win in the CAF Super Cup against Sfaxien can restore his players' confidence after a string of poor results.
The African Champions League holders will host Tunisian side Sfaxien, who won the Confederation Cup, on 20 February in the CAF Super Cup final in Cairo.
"The Sfaxien game can help the players regain confidence after a dip in form in the league," Youssef was quoted as saying on the club's official website.
The Cairo giants, who have lost some key players due to retirement and injuries, have suffered three defeats in the Egyptian Premier League this season: 2-1 to Arab Contractors, 1-0 to Dakhleya and 1-0 to Gouna.
A depleted Ahly will be eager to heal the wounds of their recent stumble when they face Sfaxien on Thursday.
"The Super Cup game is very important. It's a separate competition so we should deal with it in a serious way," he added.
"We will play the Super Cup game in unstable conditions so I ask all the players to fight to win the title," he concluded.
The Cairo giants will have their supporters at the game after receiving permission from the security forces. All football matches in Egypt have been played behind closed doors due to security concerns since the army ousted elected president Mohamed Morsi amid mass protests on 3 July.
"We have received confirmation from the interior ministry that fans can attend the CAF Super Cup final," Ahly vice-general manager Mohamed Morgan was quoted as saying on the club's official website.
Ahly won the African Champions League title in November after beating South Africa's Orlando. Sfaxien won the Confederation Cup title after beating TP Mazembe of DR Congo.
Ahly are the record holders of the African Super Cup with five titles under their belt. They beat Sfaxien 2-1 in the same competition in 2009.
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