Zamalek coach Pacheco’s job on the line

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Despite reports that Egyptian giants Zamalek are pondering over the future of Portuguese coach Jamie Pacheco, the club’s technical advisor Farouk Gaafar insists they have no intention to make any coaching changes.

The Cairo side has struggled to get goals, playing two goalless draws in their opening two Caf Champions League group encounters before succumbing to a 3-1 loss against Tunisia’s Espérance.

As things stand, the 2020 finalists face the possibility of missing out on a knockout stage berth. They are third in group D behind Esperance and MC Alger who beat Teungueth FC in Senegal.

Ahead of the return-legs, Zamalek currently sit third with two points, three behind second-placed MC Alger and five behind leaders Espérance de Tunis, while Teungueth are bottom with just one point.

“There are no sanctions on the players or coaching change after the defeat to Esperance. There is win and defeat in football and losing a game doesn’t mean we should punish the players,” Gaafar said.

“I reassure Zamalek fans. Bencharki is a great player and doesn’t want to leave the pitch, he is a nice person.

“Whoever wants to leave has to come with a convincing offer to Zamalek,” he added.
Zamalek’s next game will see them host Espérance at home on March 16 in a must-win game, while Teungueth will travel to Algeria to face MC Alger in an easy game for the Algerians.

However, the White Knights will first face Ceramica Cleopatra on Thursday, March 11 as they seek to return back to winning ways in the Egyptian Premier League.

They lead the Egyptian Premier League standings with 30 points from 13 games while Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly are third with 24 points. Ahly have three games in hand.

Pacheco took over at Zamalek last September following the shocking departure of Frenchman Patrice Carteron, who joined Saudi side Al-Taawoun.

The 62-year-old Portuguese coach failed to claim any trophies with the Cairo side since taking over.

RELATED STORY: Pacheco returns to coach Zamalek

By Mthokozisi Dube

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