Mouthwatering clashes on cards as AGL resumes - GulfToday

Mouthwatering clashes on cards as AGL resumes

Arabian Gulf League

Al Nasr coach Krunoslav Jurcic (centre) speaks during a press conference ahead of their match against Bani Yas.

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

Buoyant with their victory in the Arabian Gulf Cup (AGC) final against Shabab Al Ahli, Al Nasr look to carry on the winning momentum against Bani Yas as the league resumes after a three-week break on Thursday.

The day one of the Matchweek 13 of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) features four matches, wherein Al Nasr take on Bani Yas, Ajman meet Al Jazira, Khorfakkan face Al Ain and Al Wasl clash with Ittihad Kalba.

Al Nasr coach Krunoslav Jurcic, who was the coach of Bani Yas last season, said: “It is a special encounter for me. I have wonderful memories with them. I have a lot of respect for Bani Yas.”

Jurcic fears after winning the Arabian Gulf Cup players might be a little complacent and that may hamper their performance.

“This game is dangerous for us, because after the coronation of the Arab Gulf Cup, I am afraid a little complacency may creep into the side. But the positive thing is that the atmosphere of the team is good and players look upbeat. They trained hard and we are ready for the match.

“At present my job is to motivate players and keep their enthusiasm intact. We have to focus on the Bani Yas match and give our best that can help us win and take away full three points, especially that the match will be held at our stadium,” he added.

Jurcic informed: “Goalkeeper Ahmad Shambiye will not be available for the Bani Yas game because of the accumulation of two yellow cards. But, on the other hand, we are happy as Jassem Yaqoub and Saeed Suwaidan are set to return to the squad after discharging their duty for the Olympic team. They are likely to participate in the match.”

The UAE Olympic team’s U-23 Asia Cup campaign ended last week after their loss against defending champions Uzbekistan.

He also praised the Al Nasr fans for their support in the Arabian Gulf Cup final.

“The presence of the fans was more than wonderful in the final match, and we hope they will continue to come to support the team in the upcoming matches, especially since the players deserve support after the wonderful performance that they displayed of late,” he concluded.

Al Nasr’s saleh Al Hussein said that the final is over and their focus is on the upcoming match.

“We have moved on from that triumph, you cannot sit on the past laurels. Our focus is on the next match and we will try to take away all three points,” said Hussein.

Al Nasr are third in the standings with 23 points from 12 games, just one point adrift of second place Sharjah.

Meanwhile, Al Ain coach Pedro Emanuel exuded confidence in his team and vowed to return with three points with victory over Khorfakkan.

“Our main objective in the next match is to grab three points. I have confidence in my team and players. They are capable of doing it. We trained hard during the break for the upcoming matches.

“We will play a firebrand football and give our best against Khorfakkan. As the transfer window is open, they have roped in some new players, whom we don’t know. They might try to surprise us with some new faces,” he added.

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