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Prandelli wants to push forward with Al Nasr

Italian vows to attack against Al Wahda to avenge President’s Cup loss

Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Al Nasr coach Cesare Prandelli addresses media at the club.
Gulf News

Dubai: Former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has promised anything but typically Italian defensive football now that he’s in charge of Al Nasr.

The Blue Wave got a goalless draw in their league opener away to Sharjah last week and on Friday they are at home to top-of-the-league Al Wahda, who opened with a 5-0 win at home to Dibba.

However, Prandelli, whose country championed defensive football and has produced some of the world’s greatest defenders, says his side won’t just sit back and defend against the free-scoring Clarets.

“Football is a show and people want to see goals, so that’s why I’m working with the players to have more offensive movement and more attacks on the box,” he said.

“I want to see something new from our side, every game we want to implement new things and improve,” added the 60-year-old, who won the European Cup with Juventus as a player in 1985, and transformed Fiorentina from relegation fodder to Champions League qualifiers as a manager, winning the 2007/08 Serie A Coach of the Year award in the process.

Of last week’s goalless draw against Sharjah, he said: “It’s always complicated to play against teams that sit behind the ball. We know solutions to play against those teams, but in the last match we didn’t implement them.

“I believe, however, the next match will be a different style of game because we are playing a team that wants to play football.

“It’s true we had many chances in the last game to score, but I’m relaxed because I’d be more worried if we had created no chances at all.

“We are working very hard and are very well concentrated and motivated because this will be a hard game, for two reasons,” he added of the Al Wahda match.

“It will be hard because the last time we played against them we lost and we want to avenge that loss,” he said in reference to their 3-0 defeat to the Clarets in last season’s President’s Cup final, before he took charge of the side.

“And the second reason is because we want to get our first win of the league season. “We believe this group has a huge potential margin of improvement. I am satisfied because the players are following what we are doing, because the club is very strong behind us, and there is a good ambience in the dressing room. I am satisfied with the fact we are trying to win every game and the time will come for us to actually get that first win.”

As for the stereotype about Italian football, he said: “The real answer is in the numbers and if you look at last season’s Serie A, more goals were scored. So, I believe the Italian movement is growing.”


Fact Box

Arabian Gulf League fixtures


Dibba - Al Jazira, 5.25pm

Al Nasr - Al Wahda, 8.30pm


Hatta - Al Ain, 5.25pm

Ajman - Shabab Ahli Dubai, 8.30pm