JOHANNESBURG - With questions over the sudden absence of Egyptian striker Amr Gamal from the Bidvest Wits line-up, coach Gavin Hunt has suggested the player’s attitude is the reason why he has been left in the stands recently.
Gamal has not played for the reigning league champions in their last five matches and was not registered for the CAF Champions League - a competition he has won previously with Al Ahly, who loaned him to Wits at the start of the season.
“I have had a chat with him. He wanted to move during the window (last month) because he felt he just wasn’t fitting in,” Hunt revealed shortly after the club’s 2-0 win over Mauritian side Pamplemousses SC in the first leg of the Champions League preliminary round on Saturday night. “I said Okay, and the club agreed, but nothing came about.”
Hunt said he urged Gamal, who scored in his first two league games for Wits and looked a sure bet to lead their line for the rest of the campaign, to work harder to get back into the team after falling down the pecking order. The arrival of Lehlohonolo Majoro from Cape Town City in January appears to have been a direct replacement.
“Once the window closed, I told him that he now needs to knuckle down, shape up and try get back into the team. I said he is good enough, that’s why we signed him. But the mentality shift and everything else is different here. It takes time. It think he has given up too early. If he shows me and his teammates that he wants to play, he can get back in.”
Gamal also faces the possibility of losing his place in Egyptian coach Hector Cuper’s squad ahead of the World Cup in Russia four months from now.
“I said to him ‘you are not spiting anybody’ well, he is spiting two people, me and him, but him more because he’s got a World Cup to go to,” said Hunt.
“If I am Hector Cuper I won’t pick him because he is not playing, he is not making his team. We are training 45 minutes a day here and it is not good enough. He’s got four months left, and with all the games coming we can use him, of course we can, he is a good player. But good players we need the mentality to be right.”