x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Braga: We will do it for Khater

The Al Jazira coach Abel Braga says the team will sorely miss the midfielder Subait Khater for their match against Al Dhafra in the Pro League.

Ahmed Dada of Al Jazira, centre, struggles to break free from the shirt-pulling Ibrahim Saif of Al Shaab.
Ahmed Dada of Al Jazira, centre, struggles to break free from the shirt-pulling Ibrahim Saif of Al Shaab.

ABU DHABI // The Al Jazira coach Abel Braga says the team will sorely miss the midfielder Subait Khater for their match against Al Dhafra in the Pro League at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. "We have several players waiting in the wings to take one's place but it is hard to fill the void left by Subait," said Braga.

"If we win this game, it will be dedicated to Subait at this time of difficulty." The midfielder was dropped from the national team that played Iran in the World Cup qualifier on Wednesday for breaking a night curfew. He has been dropped from the club side too pending a further inquiry from the disciplinary committee of the UAE Football Association. Braga was sympathetic towards his player. "It is for the disciplinary committee to decide and we have to accept whatever decision they arrive at. But we know how he feels and how regretful he is for his mistake. We are all with him at this hour of need and I sincerely hope he gets to play again." However, the coach doesn't want to take this matter further on to the pitch as he is focused on claiming three points from tonight's game.

He felt Dhafra will come up with a plan to steal a point away from them. He said: "They will make scoring very hard for us with a defensive mind. But we need to win full points to keep pace with Al Ahli, Al Ain and Al Wahda." Braga wasn't ready to reveal his plans for who will fill the void left by Khater, but said he will field his best line-up. The Dhafra coach Mohammed Kwid is not overly optimistic of his team's chances but he hinted that a draw would be like a win for his team.

"The truth is that we are not as good as some of the bigger teams like Al Jazira," he said. "If we can win a few games and earn a point from some of the bigger teams, it will be good enough for us to stay in the Pro League, which is our primary target." apassela@thenational.ae