Yaoundé (AFP) – Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz said Tuesday he will not be swayed by critics of his underperforming team as the seven-time Africa Cup of Nations champions target a spot in the knockout rounds.

The Pharaohs take on Sudan in Yaounde on Wednesday knowing a draw will be enough to send them through to the last 16, where they would face the winners of Group E, and a possible showdown with Ivory Coast.

Egypt lost 1-0 to Nigeria in their opening match in Garoua but bounced back to beat Guinea-Bissau by the same scoreline thanks to a goal from star man Mohamed Salah. 

Queiroz has come under fire for his tactics, with Egypt yet to hit their stride and demonstrate they are capable of ending a 12-year wait for another continental crown.

“We’re living in a different world (with Covid-19), a different society, a different football,” Queiroz told a news conference.

“The only thing that didn’t change is criticisms for ourselves (coaches).”

“The coach can’t make a magic situation,” he added.

“We’re doing our best and people on TV or in the media criticise. This is part of the show, we need to be ready for this event.”

Asked to explain Egypt’s strategy and positioning of players, Queiroz dryly replied that was not his problem.

“I advise you to hire some experts to read the game and then you will see in which formation we play,” he said.

“Football is a game of opinions, of mistakes. I have mine, you guys, you have yours. As far as we respect each other, there’s nothing wrong in the game, everything is correct.”