‘Every game is a new game’

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‘Every game is a new game’

It is the second instalment of the ‘UAE El Clasico’ but Al Jazira coach Franky Vercauteren is treating the match against arch-rivals Al Wahda as just another game.

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Published: Thu 22 Sep 2011, 11:43 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:17 AM

The first face-off between the two this season ended in a stalemate and it needed penalties to decide the Super Cup. The match ended 2-2 in regulation time before Wahda won 7-6 on penalties for an aggregate of 9-8.

Wahda host Jazira in the Etisalat Cup at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Friday night and Vercauteren has put the Super Cup loss behind.

“It was the day that decided the winners on penalties. You can say mental this, mental that, but we have put that behind us. Every game is a new game and I treat it that way. We are obviously disappointed to lose the Super Cup which we could have won. We face the same opponents in two weeks. It is going to be difficult but we will give it our best,” Vercauteren said.

Vercauteren declined to point out Wahda’s weaknesses but added that their strong point was the team and not individuals.

“I always have respect for Al Wahda. There are some working points about them but I wouldn’t talk about their weaknesses publicly. It might give them an insight into what we are planning for them. Their strong point is always the team. The team might have individuals but they don’t rely on one particular player. It is not about individuals. It is the team. They can never win alone,” he said. Jazira are coming on the back of a 4-3 win over Diego Maradona’s Al Wasl but Vercauteren said that there could be changes to the team, even changing profiles, for that matter.

“It is not about never change a winning team. I’m open for changes, changing players, player profiles. It depends on picking a team depending on the quality of the opponent and finding the solution for your team,” said Vercauteren. There has been some talk that Vercauteren has been a bit hard when it comes to training, but the Belgian said that they needed to be physically and mentally fit as soon as possible.

“We need to find the balance between game, fitness and fitness work. Game is always important but players also need to be match fit. We worked a few days on physical basics. Our team is going step by step and getting better and better. It is not overload because we know what we need to do. This is football and this is football training. We also try to bring the fun element into training but that element is not always possible. We have to devise tactics and we also need to look at the physical and mental aspects as well.

“We need to create game conditions. The quicker we are physically and mentally fit, it is better,” he said. He said that they were taking the Etisalat Cup seriously. “I started late. I took over the team very late. The League has not started yet but one Cup is already on and we have to win it.”



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