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Johnson: Al Ahly are ready to face Al Duhail

Al Ahly assistant coach Cavin Johnson

Al Ahly assistant coach Cavin Johnson believes the team is ready to face Al Duhail SC in the first round of Fifa Club World Cup on Thursday.

The Red Eagles were drawn against host team Al Duhail Sports Club in the first round of the global competition, following the conclusion of the draw held at Fifa headquarters in Zurich on 19 January.

Ahly held the fourth training session in Doha at Qatar University Stadium on Tuesday, with their final training session scheduled for Wednesday in preparation for their upcoming clash.

Johnson has urged his side to remain grounded and get over the first hurdle before thinking about facing Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

‘We began the preparations for the tournament one month ago. We prepared the players for this competition very well in order for them to be fully concentrated during the tournament,’ Johnson told his club’s official website.

‘Regarding the fitness level, our players are ready and they have a strong will to achieve great results in the Fifa Club World Cup. Everyone is ready to face Al Duhail, especially that the team is keen to proceed for the second round.

‘After the draw, we spoke to the players to prepare them for Al Duhail’s game and to avoid any talk about facing Bayern Munich, as we must win the first game.’

He added: ‘Captain Mahmoud El Khatib is supporting the whole team, and his presence with us in Doha will encourage the team, even more, to keep fighting and to achieve great results in the competition.

‘I felt very emotional when Al Ahly fans warmly welcomed us in Doha. They were chanting and calling for captain El Khatib. The whole scene was impressive and showed that El Khatib is a legend who craved his name in letters of gold in history.

‘It is something honourable when a football player hangs up his boots and his fame increases even after his retirement. The fans were warmly calling "Bebo" upon his arrival, and this shows his great and prestigious value.’

Johnson continued: ‘We came to the Fifa Club World Cup to represent Africa and not only Egypt. We are not here to celebrate being the African champions, but we came here to achieve good results and to go beyond all the expectations.

‘Our head coach, Pitso Mosimane, is one of the best managers on the continent, and he is doing his best to write his name in the club’s history books.

‘I would like to thank our fans for their continued support. Since our first day in the club, they always supported us and we know that they want us to keep winning more titles. We will do our best to make them happy.’