Cuper plays down Nigeria threat
Written by Taiwo Adediran on June 16, 2015
Egypt head coach, Hector Cuper, has said he does not feel pressured by the fact that Nigeria opened their 2017 AFCON qualification with a win just like his team on the opening day of the series.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles opened their quest to qualify for the next edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon with a 2-0 victory over Chad on Saturday, while the Pharaohs of Egypt won 3-0 against Tanzania at the Borg Al Arab Stadium on Sunday.
Cuper made it clear that he was never under pressure after hearing that Nigeria defeated Chad 2-0 a day earlier.
The Argentine coach also highlighted how important it was for Egypt to get off their Afcon qualification to a winning start, and would rather want to concentrate on the coming matches in the series before talking about Nigeria.
“Nigeria’s victory put me under stress? No, that is completely false. I do not care about Nigeria’s victory. I am only thinking about my team and it’s too early to talk about the Nigerian national team. We will play against them next March but for now I should think about the teams I will play before then. The Super Eagles won their first match against Chad and they are happy and we won against Tanzania and should be happy like them,” Cuper said.
“This victory against Tanzania is very important for me because it’s the first official match for me with the Egyptian national team and it’s important too because that makes the Egyptian fans happy and trust in the their team. Indeed I need that in the next matches. I need the fans’ support that will help us in our mission.
“In our match against Tanzania we missed many chances and I talked with my players to keep working hard and we will win. I knew that we will win. I have very good players and we can make the dream come true, and I can say that the door is open for all the players in the Egyptian league who wants to work hard to wear the national team kit.”
Egypt will travel to Chad in September for their second match of the Group G in the Afcon qualification while Nigeria will be away to Tanzania.
Cuper’s men currently top Group G with three points, same as their Nigerian counterparts, but the Egyptians enjoy a superior goal difference.