11th May, 2012
Egyptian club side Zamalek (the White Knights) will entertain their Moroccan counterparts MAS Fes at the Cairo Military Academy Stadium this Sunday in the 2012 Orange CAF Champions League eighth finals second leg. Zamalek enter the home game with a 2-0 lead from the first leg played a fortnight ago. Former Tottenham Hotspurs, Olympique Marseille and Ajax Amsterdam striker Ahmed Housam “Mido” who returned to his childhood club Zamalek told Cafonline.com that he believes Zamalek will qualify for the next stage of competition.
How do you see Sunday’s game against MAS Fes?
It’s not going to be an easy one. Many people think it’s a done deal after we managed an away 2-0 victory, but that’s not true. We haven’t won anything yet. Zamalek players have got to remain focused on the game to achieve victory and guarantee a group stage qualification.
What do you think of your opponents MAS Fes?
MAS is a good team and a tough one to play against. They have nothing to lose in this match, thus we have to expect a difficult game. They will start the game without any pressures, so we have to be aware of them.
Being one of the most experienced players in the team, what’s your message for your teammates?
I warn them not to take the match lightly. Yes we had an amazing result from the away leg but as I said nothing is won yet. We have to score as early as possible to put the game beyond our opponents. Our players should forget all about the first leg and take this game as a new one and a crucial match that will determine qualification to the group stage.
The game will take place behind closed doors. Do you think this will affect your team?
I hope not. We’re getting used to that, as we played the previous two rounds under the same circumstances. We have to cope with the current situation, though we’ll definitely miss our supporters’ presence.
You’ve been away for a long period through injury. Are you ready for the Sunday game?
I’ve been following a special training program to regain my full physical fitness. I hope to take part in the game but this is unfortunately not possible. Manager Hassan Shehata chose not to recall me for that game as I’ve been away for a long time and I understand his decision and respect it. The most important point now is for Zamalek to win and take part in the groups stage.