Abu Dhabi: Al Ain coach Zoran Mamic has urged his players to up their tempo ahead of their Arabian Gulf League fixture against 11th placed Al Dhafra to be held at the Hamdan Bin Zayed Stadium on Friday. The action starts at 4.50pm.
A win here will put Al Ain up the top of the standings past Al Wasl should the Cheetahs slip. Al Wasl are currently sitting ahead Al Ain on away goals.
“We are getting ready for a very important challenge in the last round of the first half of the league,” said Mamic adding that the three points are extremely important.
“We have great respect for the rivals who achieved a positive result (1-1 draw) in their last game against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai club. We need to put up a strong performance. We are not bothered about what happens in the Al Wasl game against Shabab Al Ahli. My only target is to prepare my team to achieve the best results and focus on our games,” said Mamic, who will be missing the services of key players — Amer Abdul Rahman, Japanese mid-fielder Tsukasa Shiotani and Brazilian forward Caio for this tie.
“These three players have been ruled out and there is no chance for them to join the line-up in the Friday game. The decision over the participation of defender Khalid Abdul Rahman and mid-fielder Bandar Al Ahbabi has not yet been taken,” said Mamic.
Al Ain mid-fielder Rayan Yaslam was of the view that the mood in the camp is good and the players are keen on win the contest to go top.
“Everyone is upbeat and we want to win this contest. We will put our best foot forward to get those points and take a new step towards topping the league,” said Yaslam.