x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Franky Vercauteren says Jazira have worked on 'elementary mistakes'

Franky Vercauteren says Al Jazira have worked on eliminating the mistakes that have brought on the team's two-game losing streak.

Facing what he says is an improved Al Nasr side, Al Jazira's Franky Vercauteren wants his team to 'go and do their job on the pitch'.
Facing what he says is an improved Al Nasr side, Al Jazira's Franky Vercauteren wants his team to 'go and do their job on the pitch'.

ABU DHABI // After two successive defeats, Franky Vercauteren, the Al Jazira coach, hopes to get his team back on track with a solid performance on Thursday against Al Nasr at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.

"It is a very important game for us," Vercauteren said.

"Obviously, winning would be our task. We are also meeting a team that has improved remarkably after a poor start.

"We must put behind the results of the last two defeats and focus on this game. It doesn't mean we want to forget those defeats completely, but we will take the lessons forward from those games."

Jazira won the league title last season after finishing runners-up for three consecutive seasons.

They also won the President's Cup last season, claiming both titles for the first time in the history of the club.

But defeats to Al Shabab away and to Al Ain at home were their worst results in more than four years.

"When we win, everything is good, and when we lose everything looks so bad," Vercauteren said.

"For me, that's not true, because we may have played better and lost a game. And sometimes play badly and win a game.

"Under such circumstances, it is best for the team to go and do their job on the pitch. We made some elementary mistakes in the last game, and we have worked on those areas and hopefully not repeat it when we play Nasr."

Jazira conceded an early goalto Al Ain when Lucas Neill, the Australian defender, passed the ball back to Khalid Essa, the goalkeeper, whose clearance was smothered back to his own goal by Asamoah Gyan, the Al Ain forward.

"We want the players to play the ball in front instead of playing it back to the goalkeeper," Vercauteren said.

"Sometimes players may have a bad day or a bad moment, and it is hard to avoid them. It may happen to the other team as well."

Vercauteren declined to comment on the prospect of moves during the January transfer window.

Jazira will be playing in four different competitions - the league, the President's Cup and Etisalat Cup, and the Asian Champions League.

"We are busy on four levels and for that reason we need a bigger squad," he said.

"We will see what the club wants to achieve and their priorities. We still have time to speak about the changes we may want … but right now we are only focused on the game ahead."