DUBAI // Luis Milla, the Al Jazira manager, seemed unaffected by what may lie in wait. The Spaniard had just watched his side fail in their last attempt to salvage silverware from the strangest of seasons, a disappointing defeat for a club many expected would be named Etisalat Cup winners.
However, against Ajman, Jazira never really played to their capabilities, an accusation often heard since Milla replaced Paulo Bonamigo in February.
The current coach is a man of significant playing pedigree, of course, having been schooled at Barcelona and then Real Madrid. His recent CV does not make for promising reading, though: last night's loss takes his record to an unenviable four victories from 16 matches since arriving in Abu Dhabi.
"I'm not the right person to answer this," said Milla when asked whether his superiors will now consider his position untenable. "I'm an employee, and the team's working as much as we can and as best as we can. I've one more year on my contract the decision is not mine to take.
"But I think it's wrong to take away a job because the ball hit the post and goes out, instead of hitting it and going in. We always try our best."
At the Zabeel Stadium, that best was not enough.
Yes, Jazira struck the bar and post both through Ricardo Oliveira, their goalscorer but they were outdone by an immensely motivated Ajman.
As of now, Milla has two Pro League games remaining before Jazira's season creaks to a close. Fourth in the division, rallying already weary troops constitutes his immediate assignment.
"Our idea is to finish third, so we'll ask the players to make one last effort and show the same effort they did today," he said. "Especially in the second half, when they went for the draw, but we didn't have the luck."