x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Al Wasl official plays down concerns

First team supervisor Ismail Rashid says lessons are learned from Dubai club's defeats during pre-season training.

Ismail Rashid, the Al Wasl first team supervisor, says he is not concerned by the club's inconsistent performances during pre-season.

The Dubai side have played four friendlies under new coach Bruno Metsu, yet failed to register a victory until Wednesday night's 2-1 triumph against Al-Sailiya, the Qatari side, which took place during Wasl's training camp in Germany.

Metsu has had one month to work with his players and there were fears the Frenchman had not been given enough time to implement his ideas.

Wasl kick off their Pro League campaign against Al Wahda on September 23.

However, Rashid played down any anxieties, instead highlighting the benefits of the 16-day camp, particularly in allowing the new signings - Mahmoud Abdel Razek Shikabala, Faisal Khalil and Lucas Neill - to integrate with the team.

"The losses in friendly matches are a healthy phenomenon, and are useful both technically and psychologically," Rashid told Al Ittihad. "They reveal errors in our technical play, and that drives everyone to work harder to avoid them in official matches.

"Neill, Shikabala and Khalil have joined recently, and needed opportunities to build a harmony and an understanding between them and the rest of the players.

"They have done that now, so these defeats do not worry the coaching staff or the management, as long as the work continues to be more positive during our daily training sessions."

Shikabala will leave the training camp four days early on Tuesday after the Egyptian was called up to his national team's squad for matches against Benin on September 7 and Nigeria four days later.

"We will be affected by his departure," Rashid said.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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