'Mohamed Salah is not superman' says Kuwait coach ahead of friendly with Egypt

'Mohamed Salah is not superman' says Kuwait coach ahead of friendly with Egypt
Mohamed Salah will miss Friday's game with Kuwait because he is preparing for the Champions League final. (Getty)
Updated 23 May 2018

'Mohamed Salah is not superman' says Kuwait coach ahead of friendly with Egypt

'Mohamed Salah is not superman' says Kuwait coach ahead of friendly with Egypt

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait coach Radojko Avramovic is disappointed his players will not get the chance to test themselves against Mohamed Salah on Friday night, but still feels the friendly against Egypt is an important step on their road to recovery.
While Salah will be preparing for the Champions League final against Real Madrid, Kuwait will host Egypt in Kuwait City in what will be only their fourth match since FIFA lifted a two-year ban on the side over government interference in management of the country’s football federation. There have been friendly defeats at the hands of Jordan and Cameroon in March before a 2-0 win over Palestine on May 11.
“For a long time, we did not play and it will take time to recover,” said Avramovic. “Each game we play, we see an improvement and that is the target. We are starting to play some good football. We played well in the second half against Cameroon and against Palestine.”
Egypt will be a different level of opponent. “Now we can see how good the players really are, but we are at home and want to give the fans something to cheer,” said Avramovic.
The North Africans, who have been drawn with hosts Russia, Uruguay and Arabian rivals Saudi Arabia in Group A, are not just missing Salah. Aston Villa’s Ahmed Elmohamady is preparing for a Premier League promotion playoff, while Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny is recovering
from injury.
Avramovic is curious as to how his defenders would have handled Salah. “He is one of the best players in the world and it would have been good for us to test ourselves against him, but he has an important game,” said the former Notts County goalkeeper.
“Everyone in the Arab world is proud of him and he is a great example of what can be done. He shows the future of Arabic football and it is the same for Kuwait. It is good to go to other countries and face different kinds of players.”
The coach, who led Singapore from 2003 to 2012, is wary of Egypt, even without their talisman. “He is a great player, but Egypt didn’t qualify for the World Cup just because of him —  he is not superman. They have lots of good players. This game is a great chance for us to see where we are. We want to be playing at World Cups in the future and this shows us how far we have to go. At the moment, we are focused on winning games and not just trying players out.”
After Kuwait, Egypt, who started their pre-World training camp in Cairo on Monday, travel to Italy to take on Colombia and then to Brussels to face Belgium on June 6. The team kicks off their World Cup campaign against Uruguay on June 15.
“We are trying to reach the best form before the World Cup. This game will be very important for us,” Egypt coach Hector Cuper said earlier this month. “The Egyptian fans will attend the match against Kuwait — they are waiting for us and we want to please them.”