Abu Dhabi: Al Jazira head coach Jurgen Streppel believes his young players will learn from their group stage defeat to Al Ain in the Arabian Gulf Cup.
With 12 players away on international duty, Al Jazira fielded a team that combined youth and experience but despite creating opportunities, the hosts succumbed to a 3-0 home defeat on Friday night.
Although they failed to pick up points, Streppel said the 90 minutes will be a great learning curve in their development. “We are missing a lot of international players so this competition is an opportunity for the youngsters to play,” he said after the match.
“I must say that although we are disappointed with the 3-0 scoreline, as the coach, I am proud of the youngsters because they showed great attitude and motivation in playing which is very encouraging to see. That is a big positive to take and although we missed a penalty (at 2-0), I was hoping we could score but that is part of football.”
He added: “I think as a player, you learn from a defeat than from a game that you have won. My team will learn a lot from today’s match and this will help them learn on what they need to improve on when playing professional football at a high level.”
Streppel said he was also pleased to see new signings Mourad Batna and Keno play some parts of the match after recovering from injury. Batna played 45 minutes before being substituted at half-time before Keno came on for his debut with 10 minutes to go.
“We decided that Batna would play 45 minutes before the match and he did a good job. Keno is also an excellent player, who can make a good difference and I was pleased they both played,” added the Dutchman.
Fujairah 1 Al Wasl 0
Al Dhafra 0 Khor Fakkan 0