Manuel Jose does not believe that Ahly are facing a crisis after his side struggled to claim a 3-2 home win over Ghazl Mahalla, continuing a succession of poor displays for the Cairo giants.
Our recent below-par form is due to the over-confident approach the players had after Ahly won the Egyptian Cup and the local Super Cup, the Portuguese manager told the post-match press conference.
However, we do not endure any crisis; the players just need a recharge of batteries.
The defending champions, who are looking for their fourth consecutive title, grabbed a hard-fought 3-2 win over Mahalla in the Egyptian League on Saturday, thanks to a brace from substitute Osama Hosni.
However, they were far from being convincing and failed to make up for the poor form they produced against Masri in the 2-2 league opener draw.
Ahmed Al-Sayed was injured during the first five minutes of the game and Shadi Mohamed wasn’t at his best, the former Sporting Lisbon coach said.
But despite all the unfortunate circumstances we managed to fight back and win the match.
The 61-year-old coach cited other factors for the disappointing display.
For instance, (Angolan striker) Flavio has just returned from international duty and several Ahly players were representing Egypt national team in a midweek friendly, so they trained just once before Mahalla match.
We are also playing for the fourth successive year without being granted suitable time to rest between seasons, Jose added.
Meanwhile, Jose has called on Ahly fans to support the team in their upcoming crucial CAF Champions League clash against Ivorian outfit ASEC Mimosas at Cairo International Stadium.
A draw or a win will lift Ahly through to the competition’s semis but if they suffer a defeat they will be eliminated from the tournament.