‘Surprises in store’

DUBAI - Dubai boss Ayman Abdalla Elramady insists his unfashionable side can pip some more fancied rivals and qualify for the Etisalat Cup semi-finals this season.

By Alex Leach

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Published: Tue 31 Jan 2012, 12:49 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:05 PM

Dubai’s 3-0 victory over Diego Maradona’s Al Wasl at the weekend saw Elramady’s men complete a cup double over the Cheetahs having beaten them 5-0 earlier on in the campaign.

Saturday night’s success also allowed Dubai to leapfrog above their opponents and into second place in Group A, which would be enough to see them progress to the last four at the expense of Wasl, Al Wahda and Al Ain.

“It was an important win for us because we now have a chance to finish in second place,” the club’s Egyptian manager said.

“The objective is second place and four teams are competing for that spot – Al Wahda, Al Ain, Al Wasl and ourselves.

“We’ve got 12 points now, which is very important for us, and the aim is to qualify. We can then discuss what will happen after that.”

Dubai’s conquests in the Cup are in stark contrast to their forlorn form in the Etisalat Pro-League, where they currently are bottom after amassing just one win and three draws from 12 outings.

However, Elramady believes the progressive implementation of a steely determination to run alongside an admirable attitude and outlook overall can see his squad beat the dreaded drop.

“This win is also important because it motivates our players,” he added. “We needed to get out of the rut we were in and the only way to do that is to perform well.

“We’ve worked on resolving some of the problems we’ve had, primarily in the defence.

“There is a little bit of a defensive problem – not with the players or the defence in general, but the whole defensive strategy.

“For any team that wants to win, you need to show character on the pitch and that’s what we’re working on now and we’re improving match by match.

“If you look at our matches in the league, we’ve never really been inferior to the other sides.

“We’ve always been able to put in decent performances.”


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