x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Cosmin Olaroiu looking for a immediate response from Al Ain

Champions look to bounce back from disastrous start against Ajman.

Cosmin Olaroiu wants better from his Al Ain side after their losing start to the season.
Cosmin Olaroiu wants better from his Al Ain side after their losing start to the season.

Cosmin Olaroiu, the Al Ain coach, is hoping his team will show their true potential against Ajman today as the defending league champions try to bounce back from their worst defeat in 27 years.

Al Ain conceded five goals in second half on Sunday night in their 6-3 defeat at the hands of Al Ahli. It was their worst defeat since 1985/86, when they lost by an identical margin, against Ahli, in the league.

Olaroiu says his team suffered from a few "technical issues" in their league opener and the Romanian would have liked a few more days to work on their shortcomings, but he now expects his players' character to show through.

"We want to demonstrate our true potential against Ajman, but we know it is not going to be easy," Olaroiu said.

"They are one of the teams that made a name for themselves last season. They play an attacking and open game and to do that, they have some very good attacking players."

Since the loss to Ahli, the officials of Al Ain have rallied around the team and the club's chairman, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed, also had a meeting with the players, where he sought to lift the mood after the setback.

"We are in a difficult situation at the moment," Olaroiu said. "Sheikh Abdullah and the other members of the executive board have spoken to the players to lift their morale and that has probably contributed towards motivating them."

Abdul Wahab Abdu Qadir, the Ajman coach, is hoping that is not the case.

"After such a heavy defeat, two things are likely to happen," he said.

"Either their players will be motivated to compensate or it will be an ideal opportunity for Ajman to exploit their low morale. Let's see what happens, but I hope it is us who leave the pitch with three points."

In the four days since that loss, Al Ain have been fined Dh10,000 by the disciplinary committee for the misbehaviour of their fans, who threw bottles at the referee after Mirel Radoi was sent off in the 85th minute of the game.

The suspended Radoi will miss today's game, which means Al Ain will be playing with only two of their foreign professionals in their line-up.

Their new Asian player Alex Brosque cannot play as the Pro League regulations require a minimum of 72 hours between a player's registration and his first match.

Brosque, an Australia international, signed a two-year deal on Wednesday evening after clearing his medical earlier in the day. The 28-year-old striker arrives at the club from Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan.

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