Hector Cuper (Head Coach, Egypt)
After three days of training, Egypt have regained confidence (after the 0-0 draw with Mali). There was no much time for training but we had some video sessions to correct the mistakes from the previous games. We didn’t play badly against Mali, and we’re ready to face Uganda.
All my career, I have never relied on one or two players. I choose the players who suit my tactics. Against Uganda, we are not going to play defensive or an attacking game; it will be a balanced one. We won’t change our formation completely, this is not logic, but we will make some changes. Our team has a strong personality and we play with the strategy that suits us. I hope we could get the vital maximum points.
If we think we are going to have a walkover against Uganda, it will be a mistake. I don’t know how Uganda will play but what concerns me is my team. I don’t think of my opponents; I respect them all.
I wish we can win against Uganda. I don’t think of the other game’s results. My philosophy is always to win the next game, then think of the one after.
Essam El Hadary (Captain, Egypt)
I have huge confidence in myself and my skills. All the three goalkeepers are here for Egypt, and injuries are destiny. We have 23 players; whoever plays or not is a technical decision and we all respect that. There is no pressure on me or on any other player. Injuries can happen at any time to any player. We are all ready and focused.
Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic (Head Coach, Uganda)
We have closed the chapter on the previous match. I want to thank our supporters here and in Uganda, they are our motivation and driving force. We regained self-confidence from the second half of our match against Ghana, and that was how we started the preparation for the Egypt match.
Egypt is a great team and we saw that against Mali. I have analysed them well and we are ready for them. I respect Egypt but I don’t fear them. It is an important match to them and to us also. I believe that what football took from us against Ghana it will give back to us against Egypt. We are here to measure our readiness to be among the best teams in Africa and we are positive we will do what we are here for.
We are away that Egypt is a very experienced team, and dangerous on the counter, from the wings and set pieces. We have to strengthen our defence and deny them time and space. If you allow the Egyptians to do their passing game, they can be very dangerous.
We are enjoying every moment here. It is the “Formula 1” of African football. We are competitive and stretching ourselves over the limits but without any pressure because pressure. We did so against Ghana and we need to unlock them in the second game.
Hassan Wasswa (Midfielder, Uganda)
We are playing against Egypt and we know what they [Egypt] can do. We see them as a good team but we are a good one as well. What concerns us is Uganda whoever our opponents are. We came here to show we are a good team and we are working hard to get the results. The team which plays better will win the game though it is going to be tough for both sides.
It’s been a while since we played in AFCON so we are enjoying ourselves because football is joy. We enjoy but we are also giving our best, we do both at the same time.
The first game was an eye opener for the team. In the first half, we were nervous and made some silly mistakes. But in the second half, we gave our best. Now we have Egypt next and our target is to get the maximum points. We are ready and let’s see what happens come Saturday.