x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Braga: Jazira will not alter approach

Abel Braga, their Brazilian coach, insists they will adopt the same attitude they have all season - playing for three points and not thinking about other results.

ABU DHABI // Al Jazira are heading for an unwanted hat-trick. In the last two seasons they have been within touching distance of getting their hands on a major trophy, only to finish the campaign empty-handed. That is the likely scenario for a third year in a row as they face relegated Ajman in tonight's penultimate game of the season at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, knowing that the title race will be decided elsewhere in a match between Al Wahda and Sharjah.

Nevertheless Abel Braga, their Brazilian coach, insisted they would adopt the same attitude they have all season - playing for three points and not thinking about other results. "We know our fate is not in our hands but we will play as if we are still in with a chance to win the league," he said. "In such games and in such situations, we need to just concentrate in the game. "We had a good last game against Al Ahli [winning 4-2 away] and hope they will play much the same way against Ajman. There are some doubts about the midfielder Ibrahim Diaky's fitness, but if he's not available we will play with three forwards."

Braga's side have only lost one game all season [to Wahda] but five draws, one of them against tonight's opponents, have cost them dear. Ajman have only won twice in 20 games but they picked up their first point in 10 matches against Jazira when they held them to a 1-1 draw. "Ajman are one of the teams that got us into this situation. We were affected so much from that draw against them," added Braga.

"They are still a dangerous side for us with their two foreign forwards, Boris Kabi [Ivory Coast] and Abdel Kader Coubadja [Togo]." Jazira also face Ajman in the Etisalat Cup final on May 22. Jazira v Ajman, 7.35pm, Abu Dhabi Sports 3