x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Nasr ask fans for Pagelsdorf patience

The troubled coach has received a timely vote of confidence from his club chairman ahead of their President's Cup quarter-final against Al Wahda.

Pagelsdorf has been assured by the Al Nasr chairman that his job is safe.
Pagelsdorf has been assured by the Al Nasr chairman that his job is safe.

Frank Pagelsdorf, the troubled Al Nasr coach, has received a timely vote of confidence from his club chairman ahead of their President's Cup quarter-final match against Al Wahda in Al Ain tonight. Nasr have invested heavily in the team this season, signing 12 new players as they look to end their 23-year drought for a league title. But they languish in 10th place in the Pro League with just nine points from the same number of matches.

The lack of favourable results has led to growing demands for the sacking of the coach, but chairman Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher al Maktoum insisted they will not be taking any drastic action against Pagelsdorf. "The team is going through a restructuring process," he said. "We cannot expect changes overnight. We need to wait for three years before we start seeing the fruits of our efforts. "So we need to be patient. We have a big group of promising young players and the future belongs to us. Very soon we will start seeing the results we all expect.

"I know everyone wants us to win, and we scored 12 goals in three games under the same coach. Now there is an uproar against the coach and players. We need to be patient and give every party an opportunity to reach their goals." While the wait for another league title looks set to continue, Nasr still have a chance of bringing home the President's Cup they last won in 1989 and Wahda's administrative manager, Abdulla Salem, acknowledged their potential.

"Nasr may have lost their last two league games, but they are still a team to be wary of," said Salem, whose side are second in the Pro League. "They have good players and have a certain element of surprise about them. "So we cannot afford to relax. We will have to work harder because this is a knockout tournament. We want to win, qualify for the next stage and hopefully go on to win the trophy." In the first match of the quarter-finals, Pro League strugglers Ajman and Emirates will face-off at the Al Shaab stadium. Ajman are yet to register a single point in nine league matches and they will be determined to compensate for that in this tournament.

In tomorrow's matches, Pro League leaders Al Jazira will take on Al Dhafra at the Al Nahyan stadium, while Al Ahli will square-off against local rivals Al Shabab at the Al Nasr Stadium. Dhafra will be on a high when they take to the pitch against Jazira after their emphatic 5-1 win at Sharjah on Tuesday. Jazira beat Al Ahli 1-0 in their last league match, while Ahli will be missing their striker Bare due to suspension for their contest with Shabab.

However, Mehrzad Madanchi will return to the squad after missing the defeat to Jazira. @Email:arizvi@thenational.ae