As Egypt prepares to face off against the 2018 Fifa World Cup hosts Russia, team manager Ihab Leheta has indicated that the side are ready and looking forward to the clash.
Leheta allayed fears that Egypt may have to contend with home ground decisions in this year’s global tournament ahead of their second Group A match on Tuesday.
The Pharaohs had an impressive showing on Friday against Uruguay despite losing 1-0 to the South Americans, and head coach Hector Cuper will hope to have Mohamed Salah fit for the Russian showdown.
Salah, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury was benched on Friday as the North Africans failed to start their first World Cup since 1990 with a win.
Speaking from their base in Russia, Leheta was optimistic ahead of the Egypt’s must-win game in St Petersburg.
“Not at all (worried about referees). We never put these matters into consideration,” Leheta was quoted as saying by AhramOnline.
“It will be a very tough game of course, because we are meeting the hosts in a venue that could witness 60,000 spectators, but the team members are determined to win,” he said.
“We have studied Russia carefully and their 5-0 win is not the norm. We are capable of defeating them,” he stressed.
“Psychologically, the team are more ready now after getting in tune with the World Cup atmosphere. They will definitely perform more confidently after delivering a good show in the opener,” Leheta explained.
Moreover, Leheta added that Cuper is likely to change his game plan around for the clash with so much at stake.
“Cuper will be focusing on the attack. We are aware that we have no option but to win the Russia game if we want to proceed,” he revealed.
“No, he did not regret the lack of strikers in his squad. He is a professional manager who trusts and relies on his final selection,” concluded Leheta.
Meanwhile, Leheta also confirmed that Egypt have no injury worries ahead of the game as Tarek Hamed has recovered from the back injury he sustained against Uruguay.