Cajuda’s, Ramzi’s efforts appreciated, says Zamalek chairman
CAIRO: French manager Henri Michel said on Tuesday he is excited about his new job as Zamalek manager, stressing that with work and dedication the team can get back of the winning track.
I have been excited since talks started with Zamalek started because they have an ambitious project which I want to be a part of, Michel told a press conference in the club headquarters.
I haven t visited Cairo since losing the African Cup of Nations final match with Ivory Coast almost a year ago.
But I enjoy very good relationships with the Egyptians and I have been always interested in working here.
Michel was named Zamalek s new boss earlier on Tuesday, succeeding Portugal s Manuel Cajuda who has been fired due to poor results.
He signed a six-month contract for a monthly salary of $28.000. A one-year extension is optional in the end of the period should both parties agree.
Veteran coach Mahmoud Saad will be Michel s first aid, with Moatamed Gamal as assistant coach and Ayman Taher as goalkeeping coach.
The 59-year-old, who will attend Zamalek s game against Harras Al-Hodoud in the Cairo International Stadium on Tuesday, said he hasn t decided yet either he will take charge of the team during the Cairo derby on Saturday or following it.
The most important fixture in the Egyptian League is just four days away and I don t really know whether I should take over now or that wouldn t be in the best interest of the team, he said.
But I would be able to decide tonight on when exactly I will take full charge of the team.
Asked by FilGoal.com whether working with clubs is as easy as coaching national teams where he has more freedom in choosing his squad, Michel said that he is aware of the difference between both jobs.
Apart from training national teams, I have coached Paris Saint Germain, Paok, Nassr of Saudi Arabia and Moroccan giants Raja whom I won the African Champions League with, he said.
Zamalek Chairman Mamdouh Abbas said on Tuesday efforts exerted by former manager Manuel Cajuda and his assistant Ahmed Ramzi are totally appreciated by the club administration.
Although we believe in their qualities, changing the coaching staff was essential because of the recent results, Abbas said during the same press conference.
I want to thank Ramzi because he is one of the most devoted people to the club but he wasn t lucky enough to steer the team where it should be.
Abbas said he hopes signing such a high-profile coach help Zamalek get back on winning ways and develop the club s academy.
We are looking forward to his contributions within the academy as well as the first team, he said.
We want to give more chances to our youth players rather than buying already-established stars.
Abbas also called on the fans to support Zamalek during the next period as they have abandoned the team recently after their poor results.
The Zamalek [team players] look strangers at their home venue, Abbas said. This is something really sad. Zamalek get more support on the road than they get in Cairo.