Egypt's Mohamed Aboutrika (Photo: AP)
Ahly playmaker Mohamed Abou-Treika has eased the pressure on Egypt coach Bob Bradley, saying he would work harder to earn a callback for the national team.
“I was really very touched hearing all these people asking for my presence in the national squad and I thank them for the sentiment. But I want to earn my call and I’ll work harder in the upcoming period to impress Coach Bradley, for whom I have great respect,” Abou-Treika told a television sports program on Saturday.
The 33-year-old midfielder – who inspired Egypt to two African Cup of Nations titles in 2006 and 2010 – spoke following reports claiming that Bradley might respond to pressure and include him in the weeklong closed camp before the resumption of league activities.
The American tactician fell under fierce criticism after dropping the talented playmaker who put on an impressive performance against ENPPI only a few hours before squad members were publicly announced.
Bradley sparked controversy by saying he had only picked regular starters and wanted to test some new faces, while including skipper Ahmed Hassan, 36; out-of-favor Essam El-Hadary, 38; and Mohamed Zidan, 30.
The former US coach suffered a poor debut with the Pharaohs after losing to Brazil 2-0, but is said to be happy with some aspects of the game, which he hopes to build on in order to take the seven-time African champions to the World Cup 2014.