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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Al Wahda must keep feet on ground despite winning start in AGL, says manager Reghecampf

Abu Dhabi win two games in a row, but Romanian chooses to look ahead rather than dwell on his achievements

Laurentiu Reghecampf says his Al Wahda squad have the right balance between experience and youth. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Laurentiu Reghecampf says his Al Wahda squad have the right balance between experience and youth. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Laurentiu Reghecampf downplayed Al Wahda's winning start to their Arabian Gulf League campaign, instead warning his players to keep their feet rooted to the ground.

The Abu Dhabi club have won both their AGL games, thrashing Dibba 5-0 at home before coming away with a 2-1 win over Al Nasr.

But the Romanian, who was appointed manager in the summer, chose to focus on what lies ahead for his side, instead of dwelling on the impact he may be having on the side.

“We are not thinking of any title just yet but on winning the next game,” he said after victory over Nasr on Friday.

He added, however, that a good start to the season can bring a lot of positives in the dressing room.

“It gives the confidence to the players and obviously the motivation to take the good work forward,” he said. “But we are still at the beginning of the season. Our focus is now on the next game against Al Dhafra [at home on Friday].

“They are a pretty good side having won their last game against Sharjah [2-0 at home last Thursday]. Let’s hope we can add another three points when we meet them at home.”

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Reghecampf pointed out he inherited a side - from former Japan manager Javier Aguirre - already well balanced with youth and experience.

Indeed, the Mexican Aguirre led Wahda to the Arabian Gulf Cup in 2016 and signed off by in the summer by winning the President’s Cup in June.

“The result is about the quality of the players we have,” Reghecampf said. “I don’t like to single out any players but our goalkeeper Mohammed Al Shamsi was outstanding against Al Nasr. There were also some young players who impressed me in this game.”

Wahda clinched victory in an added time goal from their Moroccan winger Mourad Batna after Mohammed Al Shehhi’s 10th-minute strike was cancelled by Brazilian Marcelo.

“I think we deserved the three points, even if it was won in injury time,” Reghecampf added. “We had a good pre-season. Our preparations are already showing results. We are playing well at the moment.

“We want to carry on with the same focus and intensity. We have faithful fans who follow us at every game. That’s an added motivation for the players.”