Former Egypt forward Hossam Hassan

Former Egypt forward Hossam Hassan believes he could be the man to replace Hector Cuper as Pharaohs boss should the federation opt for a change of coach after their underwhelming World Cup display.

The North Africans returned to the tournament for the first time since 1990 under the Argentinian coach’s guidance, but failed to make an impression, losing all three Group A games including Monday’s late defeat by Saudi Arabia.

The defeat exposed the limitations of Cuper’s conservative approach, with Egypt struggling to ignite during three dour performances.

“The team has lost its spirit, and that didn’t represent our country with an honourable performance at the World Cup,” Hassan said on Sada El Balad on Monday. “Our defence shouldn’t be confused this easily by the opposition.

“I’m one of the most experienced Egyptian coaches in the country,” he added. “I began my career in 2007 with Al Masry, I took the Jordan national team to the AFC Asian Cup for the second time in their history, and we didn’t lose despite some difficult circumstances.

“I have enough training experience to lead [Egypt],” he added. “The only thing is that we must show a local coach as much support as we show a foreign coach.”

Hassan, who is Egypt’s all-time top scorer and won three African Cup of Nations tournaments with the Pharaohs, has also managed Cairene giants SC Zamalek twice and had stints with Misr El-Makassa, Al-Ittihad Alexandria and Ismaily.

Reports in the Moroccan press suggest that Atlas Lions coach Herve Renard is also being considered by the Egyptian federation as a potential replacement for Cuper.

Despite his struggles in Russia, 62-year-old Cuper did end Egypt’s 28-year wait to return to the World Cup and took them to the final of the 2017 AFCON, where they were defeated by Cameroon.

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