Egypt assistant coach Hany Ramzy has backed the side to improve in the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations, regardless of criticism they have received for their uninspiring performances so far.
The Pharaohs reached the Round of 16 having topped Group A with nine points following wins over Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Uganda. However, Javier Aguirre’s side have been heavily criticized for their largely underwhelming showings at the Nations Cup finals.
Ramzy expects the side to raise their game in the knockout stages of the biennial showpiece as their unimpressive displays could be punished against superior opposition.
“I know the players have more to offer, as they know well that we've passed the phase of playing for a goal or even a point,” Ramzy told ON Sport .
"Criticism exists all the time in football, but, realistically, I'm happy with the players and the results achieved in the first stage. They know as well that the mistakes shouldn't be repeated against teams who are technically better.”
Furthermore, the coach highlighted the side’s struggles so far, before stressing the importance of working hard to correct the errors of the past three games, in order to make supporters happy.
"The technical staff is trying to fix negatives such as building the attack, leaving long distances between the lines, compactness, and controlling midfield through possession, he added.
“Starting from the knockout stage I'm sure our level will be different as we are preparing for a serious stage.
"This is a big responsability, making the Egyptian people happy, but we'll show everyone we'll be in a different and better shape for the next round."