Olaroiu tells his men to forget previous game against Al Shaab

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Olaroiu tells his men to forget previous game against Al Shaab
Olaroiu refused to talk about his future with the Red Knights.

Published: Wed 11 May 2016, 8:42 PM

Last updated: Wed 11 May 2016, 10:46 PM

Al Ahli coach Cosmin Olaroiu has told his men to forget the previous game against Al Shaab and said that it will be a totally different ball game in what is a different competition.
The freshly minted Arabian Gulf League champions take on Al Shaab for the second time in five days in the President's Cup and Olaroiu said the motivation levels will be different as compared to the final League fixture against the same opponents last Sunday night.
The Red Knights capped off their coronation night by smashing demoted Al Shaab 5-0 at the Rashid Stadium. Five days on, Al Ahli meet Al Shaab at the Al Sharjah Stadium, in the quarterfinals of the President's Cup.
"We finished the League and are now looking forward to the President's Cup," Olaroiu said in pre-match briefing at the Meydan Hotel on Wednesday.
"Of course, we played against Al Shaab in the last game of the League but we have to forget the game and the result because it was a different kind of motivation. It will be much more different from the League game and we have to be ready mentally for this match. We have to pass this test to qualify for the semifinals. That is the most important thing in this moment. We shouldn't think about the previous game against Al Shaab. It won't be the same and we have to expect this," he added.
The Red Knights will be without the injured Majed Hassan, who has flown to France for a knee surgery.
"Except Majed Hassan, the rest of the squad is ready for the game against Al Shaab," said the Romanian.
Al Ahli have reached the final over the past three seasons, winning it in the 2012-13 season. And Olaroiu hoped that they can do so again and go on and win the Cup.
"We were unlucky last year but we also have some happy memories. We reached the final the last three times and we have won it eight times. We hope to reach the final again and win the Cup again. We have to forget what happened last year and focus on doing well this year. For sure, it will be difficult and it will not be easy. But we will fight hard to win the Cup," said the 46-year-old.
The Red Knights lost out to Al Nasr on penalties in the final at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadum in Al Ain last year and finished runners-up to Al Ain in the 2013-14 season.
Olaroiu also didn't want to get drawn into his future with the Red Knights by saying that his focus and concentration was on the President's Cup.
"My contract is for two more years and I have to respect the contract. I don't think this is the moment to think about it. We have the President's Cup and we should focus and concentrate on it," he siad.
Meanwhile, midfielder Eissa Santo hoped that Al Ahli can go the full distance.
"After the League, we have to now focus on the President's Cup. We reached the final last year but we didn't win. So, that is in our mind and we want to win this prestigious competition. We are ready physically to compete in this competition. We have to show the same spirit that helped us win the League. It is a different competition and we have to go about it step by step. We have to first think about the game against Al Shaab and then we will see," said Santo. - james@khaleejtimes.com

By James Jose

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