Egypt's goalkeeping coach backs under-fire guardians El-Shennawi and Ekramy

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Dec 2017

File Photo: Sherif Ekramy goalkeeper of Egypt's Al-Ahly (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's goalkeeping coach Ahmed Nagy voiced support for under-fire keepers Ahmed El-Shennawi and Sherif Ekramy, saying he is confident both will regain their top form before next year's World Cup finals in Russia.

Zamalek's El-Shennawi came in for criticism after committing two costly errors in his team's 3-1 defeat by Maqassa and 1-1 draw with lowly Ragaa in their previous two Egyptian Premier League games.

Ahly's Ekramy was also vilified by the team's demanding fans following a number of dreadful blunders, including an infamous one when he spilled a tame free-kick into his own net during a 2-2 African Champions League draw with Tunisia's Esperance.

Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry relegated Ekramy to the bench for three straight games last month but the Egyptian international regained his regular place after stand-in Mohamed El-Shennawi was injured.

Ekramy was also blamed for failing to block two efforts as Ahly slumped to their first league defeat this season following a 3-2 loss to Maqassa on Sunday.

"I'm not worried about the performance of El-Shennawi and Ekramy," Egypt's goalkeeping coach Nagi told a TV program on Tuesday.

"Both are good keepers and I'm sure they will regain their top form before the World Cup.

"I know that Ahly and Zamalek fans are expecting a lot from their keepers but I'm not worried. We have seven months before the World Cup and we will work with them."

Veteran 44-year-old goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary has been Egypt's preferred choice between the sticks lately. However, coach Hector Cuper refused to confirm if El-Hadary would remain his first-choice goalie at the expense of El-Shennawi and Ekramy. 

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