Abu Dhabi: Al Jazira will be looking to keep their winning momentum going when their side host Dibba in Friday’s Arabian Gulf League round 21 clash against Dibba at Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium on Friday.
“We got a very good result last week (4-2 win) against Ittihad Kalba in difficult conditions, which was a second straight victory and we want to continue this winning streak against Dibba,” said coach Damien Hertog said in his pre-match press conference.
“Winning games gives the whole squad confidence which is very important in football. We have played some excellent football, creating a lot of chances and scoring goals. But we want to keep on improving as a team and raise our performances. The players are keen to get more good results and I am confident they can continue their good form and get the three points against Dibba,” added Hertog, who has asked his players to not lower their guard despite their opponents are bottom placed in the standings. And it has a lot to do with the way Dibba has tried to claw their way back, winning two of their last three matches. “Dibba will not be an easy match at all. They have won a couple of games now so they will be confident. We will have to play our best football against them,” said Hertog, whose side will be without the services of their top-scorer Ali Mabkhout with suspension. They will also miss Ahmed Rabia, Adel Abubakr and Khalfan Mubarak with injuries.
Mabkhout has been prolific with 19 goals this season but Hertog believes there is plenty of firepower to deal with his absence.
“Ali Mabkhout is an experienced player who is the top-scorer in the league and anyone of that quality will be missed,” said the Dutchman. “But we have missed many key players before and this is a great challenge for other players to step up and show their attacking qualities by contributing with goals.”
Meanwhile, young defender Khalifa Al Hammadi was of the view that his teammates will have to be on the top of their game to prevail against Dibba.
“It will be a difficult game as they play with a lot of intensity in every match. We are playing in our home stadium so it’s important to get the win and finish as high as possible in the league,” he said.