x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League: Al Ain's Michel Bastos eager to impress in Super Cup

Al Ain coach Jorge Fossati thinks his first game in charge of the champions against Al Ahli will be a "special" occasion.

Jorge Fossati, the Al Ain coach, talks during an press conference ahead of the Super Cup at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National
Jorge Fossati, the Al Ain coach, talks during an press conference ahead of the Super Cup at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // Jorge Fossati thinks his first game in charge of Al Ain against Al Ahli will be a "special" occasion.

"The first game for me here is a final ... what everyone from the fans, the club management, players and the coaching staff have been patiently waiting for," the Uruguayan, speaking through a translator, said yesterday.

Fossati was appointed only a month ago, ending Al Ain's search for a coach following Cosmin Olaroiu's sudden departure to tonight's opponent in the summer event.

"We had a very short camp because of the fasting month of Ramadan, but we did some quality work in our camp in Austria to prepare for this game," Fossati said.

"I have a lot of faith in my players to start the season with a positive result. And in terms of my squad getting used to me as their new coach, there's not a big difference between my coaching style and the previous one; just some minor tactical differences."

Apart from Alex Brosque, the Australian forward who is recovering from a stomach surgery, Fossati said he had the full squad at his disposal.

Al Ain made one change from last season's foreign quartet, signing the Brazilian winger Michel Bastos in place of Jires Kembo Ekoko.

"I am eager to show my best for our fans' ambitions and happiness," Bastos, who arrived from the French Ligue 1 side Lyon, said.

"I am also ready for the whole season's matches, so we must win this match and concentrate on the whole season. The most important things is to have a good start against one of the most prominent rivals.

"I have spent a few weeks with the team so far, but I know Fossati well as he is a professional coach with a great career history. He was a coach for the club of my hometown in Brazil and I knew him before joining Al Ain."