Héctor Cúper emphasizes focus, respect ahead of Uganda qualifier

Hector Cuper

Egypt manager Héctor Cúper doesn’t believe history will have any impact on the team’s upcoming World Cup qualifier against Uganda, and that focus and respect for the opponent will be the difference.

“Just because you beat a team once doesn’t mean you have them figured out,” said the 61-year-old in a television interview on Monday.

“Anyone who thinks like that won’t succeed in football,” he added.

“We take each match as it comes, and they’re all unique. We know a lot about Uganda and they know a lot about us.”

Cúper says he doesn’t have many concerns ahead of Thursday’s crucial encounter, but would have liked to get more training time with some of his players.

“We are confident in our preparation, but of course we would have liked to see the European professionals arrive to camp earlier,” said the Argentine tactician.

“It does take a bit from time spent giving specific instructions.”

Cúper’s optimism comes despite missing at least two of his players through injury.

Zamalek winger Ali Gabr and Al-Taawoun winger Mostafa Fathi have both been ruled out.

“Of course we’re upset we don’t have Ali Gabr. However, I’m not worried. If I was worried that means I don’t have confidence in the other players.

“Mostafa Fathi already had an injury when he arrived, but we tried to get him fit for the match.”

The former Serie A and La Liga manager likes his team’s enthusiasm despite the injuries and pressure of such an important contest.

“The players are very focused and excited. In the coming days we have to decide which players will travel to Kampala.

“I wish we could bring them all, but they know they have to be on standby if, God forbid, anyone gets injured in the first match.”

Egypt will announce its final squad on Tuesday before setting off for Kampala.

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