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Egypt's Bradley: We are ready for Mozambique
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 30 - 05 - 2012

ALEXANDRIA - Bob Bradley, the technical coach of Egypt's senior football team, said that the coaching staff are giving special importance to Egypt's 2014 World Cup qualifier against Mozambique Friday night.
The American coach expressed his optimism that the national team can beat Mozambique, in spite of the difficult circumstances affecting the team, Egypt's official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported.
"We are giving special importance to the Mozambique game as it's the team's first official World Cup qualifier," he told reporters in Alexandria.
"The difficult circumstances Egypt is experiencing will make the players extra motivated," Bradley said, explaining that he has settled on the main line-up for the Mozambique match.
"I've made my selection on the grounds of the players' technical and physical readiness.”
The Pharaohs will kick off the 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique on Friday in Borg el-Arab Stadium, behind closed doors at 8pm Cairo Local Time (CLT).
On June 8, they will play their second group game against Guinea away from home, before facing Central Africa in the ACN qualifiers in mid-June.
Egypt have been drawn in Group G, alongside Guinea, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, for the World Cup qualifiers.
Bradley added that he has been watching many videotapes of their opponents, in order to gauge their strengths and weaknesses.
“Mozambique are a powerful team with many highly technical and talented players,” the former United States coach said.
The 56-year old tactician wants the Pharaohs to be a model for all Egyptians, encouraging them to put Egypt first.
"The people are pinning their hopes on the Pharaohs making it to the World Cup," he explained, adding that the inability of Zamalek duo Amr Zaki and Mahmoud Abdel-Razeq (Shikaballah) to serve the Egyptian team at this sensitive stage is the main reason for their exclusion from the squad.
Bradley expressed his satisfaction with the national team, especially as the experienced players have been doing their best to boost the morale of the young ‘nibblers'.
"I am also happy that the young players have been trying hard to prove themselves," he said.
Bradley took over as US coach in 2007 after he was taken on as interim coach when the Americans struggled in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
He guided the US team through the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but they lost to Ghana in the second round after drawing with England in the group stage.
Bradley, who replaced long-time coach Hassan Shehata, had hoped that Al-Ahly playmaker Mohamed Barakat would be with the team in these circumstances, because of his great experience.
"But the team don't need him now. We will call him in more decisive matches," he added.
The coaching staff have included five professional players in the camp ahead of the Mozambique match: Mohamed Zidan, Hosni Abd Rabou, Ahmed el-Mohamedi, Mohamed Dodi el-Gabbas and Adam el-Abd.
El-Abd, the England-born defender, will not be able to play with the Pharaohs in Friday's clash against Mozambique, due to some administrative problems regarding his Egyptian nationality. El-Abd does not yet have an Egyptian passport.
Bradley has also chosen Ahly midfielder Mohamed Shawqi to join the line-up for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers and the 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, instead of teammate Hossam Ashour, ruled out due to injury.
The senior Egyptian team ended a four-day preparation camp in Sudan, which witnessed the Pharaohs playing two games. They defeated Cameroon (with local players) 2-1 and stunned Togo's national team 3-0.
Last month, the Egyptian senior team held another preparation camp in Sudan, where they played two friendlies against Uganda and Chad. Bradley described the camps as useful, adding that the Pharaohs are improving.
In the first camp, they stunned Chad 4-0, thanks to a goal from Mohamed Salah in the 30th minute, a powerful Ahmed Khairi header in the 44th minute and a strike by Ahmed Hassan Mekki on 90 minutes; Chad defender Hassan Hussein also helped the Egyptian cause with an own goal in the 88th minute.
Prior to that, the Pharaohs defeated Uganda 2-1, thanks to goals from Olympic player Mohamed Salah and Ahly playmaker Abou Treika.
Now the coaching staff's main task is to take Egypt to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil; that would be Egypt's third-ever appearance and the first in 24 years.

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