x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Jazira not taking anything for granted

The early leaders do not want to leave it late and will look to build on their lead with three more points from Al Nasr.

Al Jazira, the Pro League leaders, face Al Nasr tonight knowing they can extend their lead to seven points over Abu Dhabi rivals Al Wahda, who do not play until Monday. "We need to build a good lead because we never know what to expect from every single game," said coach Abel Braga. "We were in this position last season, and yet we ended without any trophies. "That was a good lesson for us not to take any team for granted. Nasr are another team that wants to move up the order and we need to reproduce something like the last game to return with three points." Jazira came back from two goals down to win 4-2 over Sharjah last week and Braga wants his team to reproduce the kind of performance they showed in the second half of that game. "It is the kind of play I would expect from the team in every game. It is hard to keep playing at the same high level but that's the only way to move forward," he said. Third-placed Al Ain also play on Monday, meaning Baniyas can move up to second, at least for 24 hours, if they beat Al Dhafra today. "At the beginning, our goal was to finish in the middle of the league table," said coach Lutfi al Banzarti. "Now we feel we can still do better. So we have raised the bar and told out players to fight for the top four places." "The league is very tightly grouped three points from this game will certainly put our team in a steady position," added captain Mohammed Salem. At the other end of the table, Ajman remain without a point at the bottom after a 3-0 defeat to Al Ahli yesterday. The Brazilian Bare opened the scoring for the champions before goals from Ali Abbas and Hassan Al Ibrahim in injury time sealed the win. apassela@thenational.ae