Youssef : “We will bounce back”
Assistant coach of Zamalek, Ismail Youssef tells Cafonline.com that his charges will bounce back strongly in their remaining matches of the Orange CAF Champions League group phase. The five-time winners lost 2-3 to Ghanaian debutants Berekum Chelsea in their opening Group B clash on Saturday in Accra and Youssef is upbeat his charges will get back to winning ways.
Cafonline.com: What’s your assessment of the game?
Ismail Youssef: It was a difficult match. We started very well and were leading at half time. It was the first game and we wanted to win to start our campaign on a good note. Also, we missed a lot of scoring opportunities and were very unlucky to have conceded a late goal.
Cafonline.com: What happened to your team?
Ismail Youssef: The team has not played any competitive game in about five months and it was telling in our play. The Egyptian league was called off and the FA Cup as well. Our only source of preparation is through friendly games and with that the opposition was sometimes not the stiffest.
Cafonline.com: You led twice in the game, what went wrong with your team?
Ismail Youssef: We started 4-3-1-2 system and altered the formation to 4-3-1-2 after the second goal and injury to Abdoulaye Cisse. He suffered a concussion and we had no option than to take him out. His exit really affected our game plan. We were on course to at least snatch a point until the late strike. In the second half, we made more mistakes and got punished for that.
Cafonline.com: What effect has the result served on your chances?
Ismail Youssef: It’s bad we are starting on a losing note. We have lost the first three points, but there is 15-points (five games) to play for. For this game, we missed three players – Ahmed Hassan and Razak Omotoyossi through suspension, as well as Salah Soliman. Losing one match is not the end of the story, we will bounce back.
Cafonline.com: What’s next for Zamalek?
Ismail Youssef: Our next game is against Al Ahly and everybody is aware of the intense rivalry between the two clubs. We have to win that game to boost our chances. I’m highly optimistic of our chances.
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