Egypt manager Héctor Cúper discussed his team’s preparations for Thursday’s all-important World Cup qualifier against Uganda in a press conference in Alexandria, and why he thinks the match will be tough.
“There’s a new [Uganda] technical staff in place, so it’s possible they change the system or the lineup, but it’s possible they don’t change anything about the team’s current set-up,” Cuper said.
“The man in charge now was Micho’s assistant anyway, so there’s a good chance he keeps with the same ways.
“But the important thing for us, is us. What we’re going to do in the match,” he added.
The Argentine tactician is adamant that it doesn’t matter where a particular player plies their trade, but instead what happens on the pitch between the two teams.
“We shouldn’t ever say that this player is important or that player is unimportant based on where they play.
“Just because a team has more players based in Europe doesn’t mean they’re automatically better.
“We needed a very late winner in a very difficult match to beat them last time.
“It’s a very tough team to face, and it’s possible they could surprise us with a totally different approach,” the 61-year-old said.
The team departs for the Ugandan capital on Tuesday, leaving very little time for Egypt’s Europe-based stars to train with the team.
“For me the biggest worry is ourselves, like I said. It doesn’t help that our Europe-based contingent isn’t arriving til Aug. 27 and 28.”
Cúper also responded to the local consensus that Egypt is currently short on strikers and that he is dissatisfied with his choice of frontmen.
“Egypt has plenty of solid strikers, and we have a few of them in our camp.
“I would never say we have a problem with the striker position.
“These are the ones available and the ones we chose are the ones that are best in my view,” he added.
The Pharaohs are vying for their first World Cup finals berth since 1990, and a win in Kampala would go a long way in securing their place in next year’s edition.
Egypt currently sits atop Group E with six points, but Uganda are close behind with four.