‘Just another game’
Wahda coach says players will be under no pressure against in-form Wasl
Laurentiu Reghecampf insists his players are feeling no pressure to perform as they go in search of a fourth win against high-flying Al Wasl that would maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.
The Clarets sit top of the Arabian Gulf League table with nine points from three games but face arguably their sternest test so far as they travel to Dubai to take on free-scoring Al Wasl – who have notched 14 goals in their first five games in all competitions.
Despite a positive start, Romanian Reghecampf was keen to point out the season has only just begun.
“Nothing is happening at this stage of the season,” he said ahead of tomorrow’s game. “For us there is no pressure. For us it’s very simple, we have to play every game like it’s our last game, give everything, play nice football and I hope for a good result. But it’s not pressure. No-one on the team feels pressure.
“We’ve only played three games, we have a lot of games to play. If we beat Al Wasl we cannot say we are going to win the championship.”
Rodolfo Arruabarrena knows Cheetahs fans are hungry for a first league title in 11 years, and first in the professional era, and the Argentine hopes he can make their dreams come true this season.
“The Al Wasl fans always have great hope for the tournament, they love their team a lot and wish to return to the podium again,” said the former La Albiceleste international. “I feel good and I hope that I will spend time with the players to achieve their aspirations and dreams this season.”
Elsewhere, Jose Peseiro is adaShabab mant Sharjah are better than their 10th position suggests as they head to struggling Hatta looking for a first win in five games in all competitions.
The King have just one point from three AGL games and are looking to halt a two-game losing run against opponents who made Macedonian Gjoko Hadzievski the league’s first managerial casualty last week after losing all three of theirs to sit bottom of the table.
“The results do not reflect the level of the team and we deserve to be in a better position than the current one we are in,” said Portuguese Peseiro, whose side showed tremendous spirit to rescue a 3-3 draw in the Arabian Gulf Cup against Shabab Al Ahli Dubai on Saturday having been 2-0 down and seen goalkeeper Ahmed Dida sent off with the score goalless. “We will change the shape of the team in the coming days for the better.”
Henk ten Cate, meanwhile, is happy his Al Jazira players have silenced their early-season critics following a morale-boosting 2-1 win over fierce foes Al Ain in the Arabian Gulf Cup last weekend.
And Ten Cate feels they have turned a corner. “The chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The chain was really strong against Al Ain,” said the Dutchman, whose side travel to Al Dhafra tomorrow.
“I think we did very well to win because if you don’t people keep asking about what happened to Al Jazira. Now everyone falls silent and we can concentrate on the next game, which is against another difficult opponent. We will play with the same desire to win.”
If we beat Al Wasl, we cannot say we are going to win the championship – Reghecampf
Stern test awaits: Laurentiu Reghecampf (l) and Ismail Matar travel to Dubai to take on second-placed Al Wasl.