x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Caio Junior: 'Still three trophies to play for' at Jazira

The Brazilian says he will forget his debut as Al Jazira coach, a 4-0 whitewash to Al Shabab that knocked his side out of the Etisalat Cup.

Caio Junior, the new Al Jazira football head coach, did not have a good view of the game, as his Pro League credentials had not arrived him time for him to be on the sideline. He watched Jazira lose 4-0 from behind their dugout.
Caio Junior, the new Al Jazira football head coach, did not have a good view of the game, as his Pro League credentials had not arrived him time for him to be on the sideline. He watched Jazira lose 4-0 from behind their dugout.

ABU DHABI // Since 2002, Caio Junior has made 15 debuts as a professional coach, with clubs from Brazil to Portugal and from Qatar to Japan.

It seems highly unlikely that any of his previous 14 inaugural matches went as badly as this one.

Relegated to the stand behind the Al Jazira dugout last night because his Pro League credentials had not come through, Caio Junior seemed a helpless spectator as the Abu Dhabi club absorbed their heaviest domestic defeat in at least two seasons, 4-0 to Al Shabab, in the semi-finals of the Etisalat Cup.

"I am forgetting about what happened because we still have three championships to play for," Caio Junior said.

"Everybody knows that Jazira has a good reputation on the field, and this is what I want to bring back."

He had only two days of light training with the club since taking over on Thursday for the dismissed Franky Vercauteren. The Belgian was too harsh with his players, or too lenient, depending on the source, but at the time he was replaced Jazira were alive in four competitions.

Make it three, with a return to Pro League play, against Al Wasl on Thursday, only three days off.

Caio Junior, a 47-year-old Brazilian, said he was concerned about the Jazira defence, which has leaked 23 league goals, most of any club in the top seven places in the table.

The club were erratic in the back last year, when they won the league and President's Cup double, but they were routinely saved by an in-form Ali Kasheif, the goalkeeper. The veteran has only recently returned from knee surgery, and the rust has shown.

Asked if he expected 4-0, Caio Junior said: "In football sometimes things that don't make sense happen, but that is what I will try to figure out for the next stages."

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