Egypt goalkeeper coach Ahmed Nagy has explained why Essam El-Hadary did not have any game time in their friendly win over Tunisia on Sunday.
The Pharaohs defeated the Carthage Eagles 1-0 in their final warm-up match for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, with Hector Cuper’s side starting with goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy, before Ahmed El-Shenawy came on for the second half.
Veteran goalkeeper El-Hadary – who is expected to be Egypt’s number one for the 2017 AFCON – did not play at all, but Nagy insists nothing should be read into this.
“Our strategy was to let two goalkeepers play in this match, we can’t have all three goalkeepers playing in one match,” Nagy told Nagham FM radio channel, as quoted by KingFut.
“El-Hadary is a true legend and trains hard.”
The coach also explained why Egypt have decided against announcing who will be the first-choice goalkeeper for the tournament.
“Announcing the starting goalkeeper now can have a bad effect on the other two goalkeepers,” he explained.
“That, of course, does not mean that they are not professional players who work very hard.”