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As the Pro League season's end draws near Josef Hickersberger needs to find an additional motivational tack for Al Shabab when they meet Al Ain.
As the Pro League season's end draws near Josef Hickersberger needs to find an additional motivational tack for Al Shabab when they meet Al Ain.

As Pro League season nears conclusion managers search for inspiration

With only an outside chance of passing Al Nasr and Al Shabab in the table, Josef Hickersberger is finding it hard to get his players motivated. Likewise for Cosmin Olaroiu at Al Ain, who have already clinched the Pro League title.

Josef Hickersberger and Cosmin Olaroiu are looking to find ways to raise the morale of their players ahead of a derby match between Al Wahda and Al Ain.

Wahda have only an outside chance of overcoming Al Nasr and Al Shabab to finish fifth while Al Ain are already crowned Pro League champions.

Hickersberger, the interim coach of Wahda, has several absentees for Saturday night's home game at the Al Nahyan stadium.

The Austrian will be missing some of his key players Ismail Matar, Hamdan Al Kamali, Mahmoud Khamis and Marcelo Oliveira, the Brazilian forward who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season following an ankle injury during training.

"It doesn't matter if Wahda finish anywhere between fifth and seventh but being a derby match this is an excellent opportunity for some of the fringe players to prove themselves," Hickersberger, who led them to the league title in 2010, said.

"Such opportunities to play against Al Ain are rare for some of the players and this is a chance for them to impress and prove their worth in pushing for a place in the first team line-up for next season. I think this should give them enough motivation to win the game."

Olaroiu, the Al Ain coach, too will be experimenting with those who have not been in the regular line-up.

"I not only want to provide as many opportunities as possible for those who haven't got a regular place in the team in the next two games but want them to prove they are as good as anybody else in the line-up," he said.

"Some players impressed me when they were given the opportunity in last week's 2-2 draw against Baniyas which we had to play with 10-men for more than half-an-hour.

"They showed real character in that game and I would wish the same fighting spirit against Wahda."

 

apassela@thenational.ae

 

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