x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Vieira calls for patience after Baniyas make stuttering start

Baniyas' Brazilian coach has been without key players throughout the Etisalat Cup so far, but believes once settled, his squad are Pro League challengers.

Jorvan Vieira, the Baniyas coach, will have several players on international duty in the next 10 days, and asks fans to be patient as he brings his own style to the Pro League side.
Jorvan Vieira, the Baniyas coach, will have several players on international duty in the next 10 days, and asks fans to be patient as he brings his own style to the Pro League side.

ABU DHABI // Jorvan Vieira, the Baniyas coach, has urged fans to be patient as he attempts to stamp his style on last season's Pro League runners-up.

The Brazilian, who was appointed in the summer, has yet to win a game in the Etisalat Cup so far, with defeats against Al Nasr and Al Shabab and a draw against minnows Ajman.

Baniyas have, however, seen changes to the squad as well as disrupted pre-season preparations and Vieira said this was the reason for his team's slow start.

"You just have to look at the game last weekend against Al Nasr. How many players have they lost? None. How many have they bought? Just one, Mark Bresciano," Vieira said.

"We have had to change a lot of players and that makes a big difference. We are not in the same situation as Al Nasr. They have already come together as a group. We will have to wait some more time before that happens for us."

Sergio Gonzalo Rodriguez, a Uruguayan defender, was sold without playing a single game, while Ali Mahmoud (Al Wasl) and Youseff Al Hamadi (Al Jazira) arrived in the summer.

Baniyas have been without key players such as Amer Abdulrahman and Mohammed Fawzi as they were in action for both the Olympic and the full national team.

David Trezeguet, the veteran French striker, has arrived, although the 1998 World Cup winner has hardly been seen on the pitch, while Haboush Saleh, the winger, has been injured.

Vieira, who guided Iraq to success in the 2007 Asian Cup, wants time before any judgement is made and believes his side deserved something from the 1-0 defeat to Nasr last week.

"We played a very good match against them and were unlucky to lose," he said. "We should have finished our chances and I do not think their penalty [the only goal of the game] was a penalty."

A 4-1 defeat to Al Shabab was followed with a 1-1 draw against Ajman, before last week's defeat, which came just days after key midfielder Theyab Awana's death in a car crash.

"I have seen progress from match to match," Vieira said. "We have never had a full team and yet we have done a lot of good things.

"I did not see Baniyas last season, only a few games on video. I won't judge any previous coaches but, I ask you, have you ever seen a Baniyas team with such spirit before?"

Baniyas will lose several players to international squads over the next 10 days, so Vieira's team will still be below full strength for Saturday's Etisalat Cup match, away to Al Ahli in Dubai.

However, for Vieira, the league is the main focus. He plans to bring in one more overseas player, most probably a defender, to complement Trezeguet and last season's Pro League top scorer Andre Senghor, along with their Asian player, Fawzi Basheer, Oman's captain and midfielder.

"We are a good team and I am here to win the league. I came here to win the title and that is what I always want to do," Vieira said.

"We are improving and once all our key players return, we will be much better."

ncameron@thenational.ae


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