The Cairo club were played off the park by a rampant Sundowns in the first game in Tshwane‚ and now face a monumental battle to rescue the tie in the return in Alexandria on Sunday night.
And Mansour has not pulled any punches‚ backing coach Momen Soliman and laying the blame for the defeat squarely on the shoulders of the Zamalek players.
“Some players on the team don’t deserve to put on Zamalek’s shirt‚ I’m not going to say who they are‚ they know themselves very well‚” an irate Mansour told reporters.
But Mansour did say that he was confident the team would be able to overturn the result‚ if they were allowed fill the Borg Elarab Stadium and create an intimidating atmosphere for Sundowns.
Egyptian officials have only allowed 20‚000 spectators at the game as they fear mass gatherings can incite political unrest.
“We could beat Sundowns 3-0 [and take the game to extra-time]. We beat Etoile du Sahel 3-0 last year and Wydad Casablanca 4-0 this year‚ so I’m confident that we will raise the trophy in Borg Elarab stadium.
“I want to fill the stadium to 70‚000 fans‚ and anyone who will say only 20‚000 or 30‚000 is allowed to attend the game‚ I won’t listen to them. The Sundowns fans affected [goalkeeper] Ahmed El-Shenawy’s performance and were responsible for his slip.”
Mansour said he would not sack coach Soliman if the team lost the final tie and praised the young coach‚ saying he would not comment on his starting line-up‚ before doing exactly that.
“It will not happen [the sacking]‚ the ex-Zamalek coaches used to escape after facing any losses or problems‚ this is football‚ you win one day and you lose another‚” Mansour said.
“I will not comment on Momen Soliman’s line-up‚ this is not my job‚ although playing Moruf Yusuf as a left-back was a very good decision as we were in control of the game in the beginning.
“I have full confidence in Momen Soliman and I am sure he will work very hard to win the next game‚” Mortada said. - TMG Digital