CAIRO: Egypt coach Hassan Shehata called on football pundits and fans to support Mohamed Abou-Trika in order to help him hit peak form.
So far this season, the talismanic Ahly schemer, widely referred to as one of Egypt’s all-time best players, has been struggling for consistency on the international stage and at club level as well.
Abou-Trika’s deterioration prompted some people to say it’s about time for the former Tersana man to hang up his boots.
However, Shehata believes that the 31-year-old is capable of getting fit again.
"Abou-Trika is doing his best to regain his form and everybody should support him," Shehata told Modern TV.
"Veterans like Wael Gomaa, Abou-Trika and Ahmed Hassan are still important for the national team.
"For instance, some people used to ask Ahmed Hassan to retire but now everyone misses him, after he was sidelined through injury.
"Hearing people talking about these players like that really makes me sad. They are the same footballers who made the Egyptian people happy in three African Cups."
Experienced trio Abou-Trika, Hassan and Gomaa were instrumental in helping the Pharaohs win the Africa Cup of Nations three times on the trot in 2006, 2008 and 2010.