Egypt National team manager Hector Cuper (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt manager Hector Cuper stressed that Thursday’s crucial World Cup qualifier in Uganda is totally different to their previous Africa Cup of Nations meeting where the Pharaohs emerged 1-0 winners in Gabon.
Speaking to On TV station, Cuper laughed off talks that he could easily beat Uganda in Kampala, having defeated The Cranes in the Cup of Nations courtesy of a late Abdullah El-Said strike.
“Whoever thinks that I could easily win the Uganda game for just beating them before has no idea what football is about,” the Argentinean boss stated.
“Football continually changes, what happened in the past is in the past. Yes it is good, it gives the players motivation but every game is different from the other.
“They have a new coach now, he could be changing things in his team. Yes, we know a lot about the team but we should be ready as well for any changes during the game itself.
“As we have a lot of information about them (Uganda), they also know a lot about us.”
When asked about whether the late arrival of the foreign-based players would affect his preparations for the game, Cuper admitted that such an issue would cause him problems that he will try to overcome.
“I hope it would not affect us. Of course I’m not happy with them (foreign-based players) arriving late, as I hoped to have them taking part in more training sessions,” Cuper said.
“Such small details are so important, with many players arriving late, the rest of their teammates aren’t likely to retain their concentration. That concerns me.
“We should always believe in ourselves and in our ability to overcome such problems.”
Speaking about key center-back Ali Gabr’s injury which ruled him out of the Uganda tie, Cuper asserted that he has full confidence in the towering defender’s backup, and that he is not concerned at all.
“Ali Gabr’s injury was an unlucky training incident, but that doesn’t really worry me at all. Being worried about his absence would mean that I don’t have trust in his backup, which is not the case as I have total confidence in my squad.”
Egypt, who currently top Group E with six points from two games, host Uganda just five days after playing in Kampala.
Having overcome Congo 2-1 away from home and beaten group rivals Ghana in Alexandria, all eyes will be on Egypt’s game in Uganda, where a win is likely to give a major boost to Hector Cuper’s men World Cup qualification chances.
Seven-time African champions Egypt are eyeing their first World Cup appearance since last reaching the prestigious tournament in 1990.
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