Dubai: Al Ahli coach Cosmin Olaroiu says beating Arabian Gulf League leaders Al Wasl away on Monday would help his side rediscover lost form.
The defending champions haven’t won in three matches with recent draws to Kalba and Al Dhafra either side of a defeat to Al Jazira — leaving them fifth in the standings. In contrast, Al Wasl have won the last seven consecutive league games to top the table.
“To skip this earlier stage we have to overcome Al Wasl,” said Olaroiu. “Beating them would return the key to victory.
“We’ve got used to winning in recent years, so when we don’t win there are problems.
“I could leave, I’ve had many offers, but I know the players still have lots to offer the team so I’m staying with them.
“We need everyone to pull together and we need to be able to rely on one another to fight like men and reach our goal,” added the Romanian.
Meanwhile, Al Wasl coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena urged his side to keep up the good work.
“We showed our character in the previous matches and now we have a very important match against the defending champions,” said the Argentine.
“To get three points we need to keep up the good work, to be the better side and respect our opponent.
“All our players are aware of the importance of this game and want to give their best before our fans.”
Elsewhere on Monday, fourth-placed Al Wahda host second-from-bottom Emirates, and rock-bottom Bani Yas travel to 10th-placed Sharjah.
On Tuesday, second-placed Al Jazira host third-from-bottom Dibba and third-placed Al Shabab visit mid-table Hatta. Ninth-placed Al Nasr are also away to 11th placed Kalba.
And on Wednesday, sixth-placed Al Ain, who lost the final of the Asian Champions League 3-2 on aggregate to South Korea’s Jeonbuk Motors on Saturday, will visit eighth-placed Al Dhafra.
Arabian Gulf League fixtures
Al Wahda – Emirates, 16.50
Sharjah – Bani Yas, 20.00
Al Wasl – Al Ahli, 20.00
Hatta – Al Shabab, 16.40
Al Jazira – Dibba, 20.00
Kalba – Al Nasr, 20.00
Al Dhafra – Al Ain, 19.30