x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

No hard feelings against former club, says Wahda coach

Losing a job and turning up against a former employer is nothing unusual for Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, the former Brazilian coach of Al Ain

Tite insists he is not carrying any baggage as Al Wahda coach.
Tite insists he is not carrying any baggage as Al Wahda coach.

ABU DHABI // Being sacked or moving on for a better deal is a way of life for professional footballers and managers. So losing a job and turning up against a former employer is nothing unusual for Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, the Brazilian coach of the Pro League champions Al Wahda. The man popularly known by his nickname "Tite", has had one tough game after another since he assumed control of the club three weeks ago, the drawn Abu Dhabi derby against Al Jazira in his first game, followed by Al Ain, his former club, in their fourth game of the season at the Al Nahyan Stadium tomorrow.

"This is not an unusual situation for me to lead a team against my former club," Tite said last night. "This is very common in all parts of the world for both managers and players. I don't hold any animosity with Al Ain because they sacked me. I will do what I would do with any team that I coach - try and win every game for my club. And the Al Ain game will be no different." Tite was in charge of Al Ain for more than seven months in 2007.

The nine-times league champions were sixth in the 12-team league when the axe came down on him after a 3-0 defeat to Al Ahli of Dubai on December. "I was a bit disappointed at that time because we were building a squad and would have finished well if I had the opportunity to be with them until the end of the season," said Tite, who had taken over the storied club after it finished a shocking ninth in 2006/07.

"But that didn't happen and I had to move on. I have a lot of respect to Al Ain as one of the big clubs but I must do what I have to do." Tite returned to Brazil to lead Internacional to the Copa Sudamericana in 2008 and the Suruga Bank Championship in 2008. He was fired in October 2009. The veteran coach believes Wahda have provided him with an opportunity to redeem his reputation by leading the Abu Dhabi club to further success with more domestic titles.

Also on the horizon: an appearance in the Fifa Club World Cup in December and the Asian Champions League next year. "We will be playing in five different competitions but the next game against Al Ain is the most important at the moment," Tite said. "It is two derby games for me but I like the challenge. Al Ain are on top of the league table and this match is as important as the previous one with Jazira. It is the performance on the pitch, which means the result that will matter at the end of this game." @Email:apassela@thenational.ae

Sharjah v Dubai This is a match the home side must win if they aspire to a high finish. Dubai have no points from three matches, although the promoted side have shown some aptitude in attack, especially through their French forward Michael N'dri (above). Sharjah will be looking for scorers not named "Marcelinho". The Brazilian has four of their five goals, and they thank him, but shutting down one man may be something even Dubai's frayed defence (nine goals conceded) can manage. ? 5.30pm, Sharjah Stadium Al Ahli v Al Jazira David O'Leary's Ahli will be looking to introduce themselves as a factor in the title chase with a victory following their inconsistent start. Jazira and their goalkeeper Ali Kasheif have conceded one goal in three matches, and it will be up to the Brazilian midfielder Pinga, with help from the Emirati international Ahmed Khalil, to penetrate a Jazira defence that could be strengthened by the addition of Sami Rabea, obtained last week from Al Wasl. Jazira's attack is built around the Brazilian Bare, who scored twice in the 7-0 rout of Ras al Khaimah in the President's Cup on Monday. ? 8pm, Rashid Stadium