Al Wasl coach confident of fightback

Calderon’s counterpart at the Sky Blues, Luis Garcia, is targeting a third win on the spin at home to Ajman (on Tuesday night, Kick-off: 8pm) next after chalking up back-to-back victories with this scoreline.

By Alex Leach (senior Reporter)

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Published: Sat 25 Oct 2014, 2:16 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:31 PM

Dubai: Al Wasl coach Gabriel Calderon says the first defeat of his short reign at Zabeel Stadium shouldn’t mask the fact that performances are picking up under his stewardship. Calderon lost his first home game in charge of the Cheetahs on Thursday night as Bani Yas’ Joan Verdu and Bandar Al Ahbabi netted either side of a Caio equaliser for Wasl.

However, the display seemingly represented an incrementally progressive improvement from Calderon’s only other match at the helm so far — a 2-2 draw at leaders Wahda — and he remains confident of rectifying their defensive shortcomings in due course. “I’m happy that the team played better, but it shouldn’t be possible for them to concede four goals from dead-ball situations in two matches,” the Argentinian boss said.

“The team played a little better today (Thursday) than in the Al Wahda match, particularly in the midfield, but it’s the same problem as in that game as well – we conceded goals from a penalty and a set-piece. After one week here, I naturally would have liked to have played very well and won, but it’s very important for me now to continue with my work.

“I’m confident that this team will improve and climb up the table with time. I’m sure that they will perform to another level in our next match (at Sharjah on Tuesday night, Kick-off: 8pm). I’ve arrived at a club that’s not in a very good situation and now I need time to work on our fitness and stamina, our tactics, our concentration while defending at set-pieces and everything else. To work on all of these things as a team unit, you need time.”

Meanwhile, Calderon’s counterpart at the Sky Blues, Luis Garcia, is targeting a third win on the spin at home to Ajman (on Tuesday night, Kick-off: 8pm) next after chalking up back-to-back victories with this scoreline. “We deserved to win by more as we played better than our opponents,” the Spanish coach explained. “I’m happy with my players’ performance levels, but I still want to change the mentality inside the team.

“Even with this result though, we have to continue to work to win our next match at home to Ajman. Winning three matches in a row is a significant achievement in the Arabian Gulf League (AGL). We’re in good shape right now. We’re performing well and we certainly want to keep our run of late going.”

alex@khaleejtimes.com



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