Egypt's coach Hossam El-Badri (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt coach Hossam El-Badry admitted his side's African Nations Cup qualifying campaign was far from convincing but said he was still satisfied that the ultimate goal had been fulfilled.
The Pharaohs booked their Nations Cup ticket with one match to spare in Group G following their 1-1 draw away to Kenya on Thursday, which sent them top on nine points, on level with Comoros.
They will host Comoros in the final round of qualifiers at Cairo Stadium on Monday.
"I said before that the most important thing in this period is to achieve our goals," El-Badry told the pre-match news conference on Sunday.
"We went through some tough circumstances, such as the coronavirus pandemic … which had bearing on club fixtures and led to a busy calendar.
"It is not normal to work in such circumstances; we worked under a huge pressure. But despite these difficulties, we achieved our goal and we reached the Nations Cup."
The former Ahly coach played down reports saying he had fallen out with Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, who was kept on the bench against Kenya.
El-Badry fielded Tarek Hamed and Hamdi Fathi as his central midfield duo before replacing them with Amr El-Sulaya and Omar Gaber in the second half.
"There is no problem with Mohamed Elneny and he is likely to start the game against Comoros," he said.
"The game against Comoros is very important as we aim to produce performance that is up to the standards and the big name of our country."
The 61-year-old also said Egypt would turn their focus to the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
"We need to prepare well for the World Cup qualifiers. I know it would be difficult because of the FIFA calendar, but we can ask the Egyptian Football Association to hold training camps for the local-based players," he added.
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