Each Match is a New Challenge for the “Boss”.. Zoran: We Want to Make the most of the Current Positive Atmosphere and the Fans’ Support to Achieve our Goals in the Champions League


Croatia’s Zoran Mamic, Al Ain Head Coach, inaugurated the pre-match press conference of Al Ain against Esteghlal by saying “The team’s preparations for the third round was not for sure at the level we desired. However, Al Ain is meant to snatch the three points following losing four points in the first and second rounds of the groups stage.” He further explained: “German’s Winfried Schäfer has been able make the difference and push Esteghlal team to the limit since he assumed his responsibilities. Currently, I believe our competitor is at their best conditions.”

“We will face a completely different team compared to the squad we played against last year in terms of technical aspects. I underline here that all matches we played in different competitions have already become something of the past. We are required to invest in the positive atmosphere we are currently experiencing and the massive loyal fans’ support given that we are playing in our own turf and among our fans and surely we are aiming to win the match,” said he.

“We must forget about the recent match against Al Wahda and to focus on the coming challenges. Indeed, Al Ain’s players, technical and administrative staffs and the senior management focus not only on one match in the season, but also all other matches which are looked at as a new challenge to the team. Therefore, we have to display our genuine fighting and challenging spirit and fully focus on achieving the desired goals by the end of the current season.”

Replying to a question on the impact of Al Ain’s thrilling victory over Esteghlal by 6-1 in the past edition on the coming match, he said: “Already I stated that past is past, and our team is required to show their fighting and challenging spirit and deal with underlying principle of showing respect to the competitor along with high concentration. We have to take into account that the visitors are completely different from the team we played against last year and is placed at the top spot of Group D.”

On reasons behind a significant decline in the number of goals scored by Al Ain in the Asian competition, he said: “Indeed, the rhythm of the AFC Champions League matches is merely different from the local competitions, besides the nature of teams is poles apart.” He went on to say: “We played very well in the past edition of this competition except our match against Al Hilal. We are meant to increase the number of scored goals but we have to understand that football is not a machine where you insert money and ask for the required number of goals.”

Concluding the press conference, he replied to two questions on Al Ain’s absences and which team he nominates to qualify out of this group, he said: “We will miss Mohammed Abdul Rahman due to suspension. He is one of the most important players in the squad taking in consideration his stunning performance during this current season. As for which teams I nominate to qualify from this stage, I expect Al Ain and it does not matter which team will be with us in the next sage.”