It is an important match for the club: Petrescu
Al Wasl's Ronaldo Mendes and Al Nasr's Ahmed Ibrahim in action during the Arabian Gulf League match.
Dubai - Al Nasr could seal a semifinal berth when they meet Dibba at the Al Maktoum Stadium on Thursday
Dan Petrescu is still in his early days at Al Nasr and the Romanian coach is already on the threshold of a trophy.
And the former Chelsea international is plotting the Blue Wave's path despite encountering a few setbacks like players absences and injuries.
Despite their poor run in the Arabian Gulf League, which saw Ivan Jovanovic getting the boot, Al Nasr find themselves in a really good position in the Arabian Gulf Cup. They are third in Group B, with just one point separating them and Al Ahli and Al Shabab.
Pertinently though, Al Nasr have two matches still in hand, while Al Ahli and Al Shabab have only one. And Al Nasr could seal a semifinal berth when they meet Dibba at the Al Maktoum Stadium on Thursday.
It will be the second time in two weeks that they play Dibba with the first meeting being Petrescu's debut game as manager. They won that game 4-0 last time out but these are different circumstances and a different competition and the importance of this fixture was not lost on Petrescu.
"It is an important match for the club because we are in a good position in the Cup. And the players should understand that victory on Thursday will take us very close to the semifinal," Petrescu said at a pre-match press briefing at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Oud Metha on Tuesday.
"At this moment, we have so many problems, injuries, players going to the National team. It is not an easy time to find the 11 players to play. But, at the same time, we have to adapt and we have to try our best to win this game, especially, because in the last game, we played very well but this is a totally different game," he added.
Petrescu said that he found it strange to start my career in Al Nasr by playing two games against the same team but added that every game was important. He also said that any piece of silverware that comes along, changes everything.
"For me, every match is important and it important that we will fight for trophies. And the closest one for us is the Cup now because if we win the next two matches, we are already in the semifinal. Then, we are one away from the final. Last year, at this time, I was playing the Cup final in China and I won the Cup. And I know how important this trophy is for every club. The Cup may be not on the same level as the President's Cup but when you win a trophy, it will change everything. It will give enthusiasm to the players and it will of course give them more confidence," said the 48-year-old.
Meanwhile, Al Nasr's stand-in goalkeeper Abdulla Mohd Ismail said the team's fate was in their own hands.
"It is in our hands and not in Ahli or Shabab's hands. We want to win both our games and get six points and go to the semifinal. We expect a very difficult match because we played recently against them. Also, Dibba are not out of the group stage and they also have a chance to go through to the semifinal," said Ismail. - email@example.com