Dubai: Al Wasl coach Gustavo Quinteros is confident his side can turn around poor form, despite being without suspended Fabio Lima at home to Emirates on Tuesday.
Lima was sent off in Al Wasl’s 4-1 defeat away to Al Wahda on Friday for lashing out at fellow Brazilian Leonardo on the opposing side, who he claims was goading him after going 2-0 down.
A two-match ban now sees Lima sit out Al Wasl’s hosting of Emirates on Tuesday and their trip to Al Dhafra on October 5.
It comes at a time when Al Wasl desperately need their star striker after having failed to win their last two games, since opening with a 3-0 win at home to Dibba. However, Al Wasl’s Argentine coach remains upbeat.
“We are not worried about the absence of Lima for the next match,” he said. “We played our first game of the season away to Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad in the Arab Club Champions Cup without him and drew 1-1.
“He’s certainly one of the most important elements of the team, but we will seek to find an efficient alternative in the same role as him.”
Al Wasl’s return leg at home to Al Ittihad in the first round of the Arab Club Champions Cup is this Sunday, hence their domestic Arabian Gulf League (AGL) fixture against Emirates, which was meant to be this weekend has been brought forward to Tuesday.
Al Jazira are in the same situation with their away leg to Saudi’s Al Nassr being played on Saturday, meaning their weekend tie away to Ajman has also been brought forward.
“Winning is necessary for us,” added Quinteros. “After drawing away to Bani Yas 1-1 and losing away to Al Wahda, we must take advantage of being at home against Emirates and return the team to the path of victories.
“We seek to correct the defensive mistakes of the past, and have brought in Oh Ban-suk who we hope will be a good addition at the back,” he said of the South Korean defender who joined this week from Jeju United.
Oh’s arrival means Brazilian midfielder Ronaldo Mendes has had to make way, because each club is limited to four foreigners. Fabio Lima, Caio Correa and Vinicius de Lima remain, while Mendes has joined Fujairah on loan.
“We now seek to find the reasons that affected the team’s performances so far and we are discussing how to control emotions, because Lima’s red card affected the course of that game.”
Meanwhile, Al Jazira keeper Ali Khaseif returns against Ajman after serving a two-match ban for a straight red in their second game of the season at home to Fujairah.
Al Jazira opened with a 5-4 win away to Shabab Ahli and a 3-2 win at home to Fujairah before drawing 2-2 at home to Bani Yas on Thursday. They will now be looking to get back to winning ways.
Ajman v Al Jazira, 5.25pm
Al Wasl v Emirates, 8pm
Dibba v Al Dhafra, 5.20pm
Bani Yas v Al Wahda, 8pm
Kalba v Al Nasr, 5.20pm
Sharjah v Fujairah, 5.25pm
Al Ain v Shabab Ahli, 8pm