Stressed that Absence of “International” Stars is not an Excuse for A Decline in Performance.. Leko: We Look Forward to Performing Well and Showing Sincere Enthusiasm to Win Al Jazira


“Our preparations for our clash match against Al Jazira are on the right track and as required. Our players are highly focused and so determined to perform honorably this round of the Arabian Gulf Cup,” said Ivan Leko the head coach of Al Ain First Football Team in the pre-match press conference dedicated for the round 3 match of the Arabian Gulf Cup scheduled to be held on Friday at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.

He further explained: “We will be missing our “international” players who already joined the UAE National Football Team. However, our starting lineup will be different from that of the Shabab Al Ahli Dubai match held last week. I do believe it is an excellent opportunity for the young non-international players to show their best and push themselves to the limit to defend the logo of the Boss.”

Commenting on a question on his expectations of the result of the coming match, given that Al Jazira lost to Shabab Al Ahli Dubai by 4-0 in the last round of the competition, he said: “I fully concentrate on improving the performance of the team and do not forget that we lost our friendly match against Bani Yas in the last week by 3-1. Indeed, we are required to improve the players’ physical and mental aspects with and without the ball. Our competitor is one of the top four teams in the league, and both teams will play their match while missing the efforts of many international players.”

Leko put an accent on the fact that big teams do not seek excuses regardless of the number of squad absences. “We look forward to performing well and with high spirits to snatch the points of the match. We will be missing the international players along with Mohammed Fayez, Mohammed Ahmad, and Mohammed Jamal. Also, we have Rayan who had a minor injury and still need more time to be fully fit.”