Al Wahda return to Al Ain holds no fear factor for Arabian Gulf Cup final versus Al Wasl

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Al Wahda manager Laurentiu Reghecampf (2nd l) in the pre-match press conference for Arabian Gulf Cup final (PLC).

Al Wahda coach Laurentiu Reghecampf has insisted a return to Hazza bin Zayed Stadium will not reopen raw wounds when his side battle for the Arabian Gulf Cup with Al Wasl.

A late disagreement between organisers the Pro League Committee and Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club about rental fees for their Rashid Stadium saw Thursday’s showpiece moved to the Garden City on Tuesday. This change meant the Clarets head back to the site of March 1’s humiliating 6-2 loss to Al Ain that has caused serious damage to hopes of lifting a first Arabian Gulf League title since 2009/10.

But speaking in Wednesday’s pre-match press conference, Reghecampf was not unduly concerned.

“There is no pressure on the players,” said the Romanian, who suffered a family bereavement this week.

“Hazza bin Zayed Stadium is a beautiful setting. We have to rejoice in the final and not think about the past.”

Wahda lifted this trophy back in 2015/16 and then added the next season’s President’s Cup. In contrast, opponents Wahda are enduring an eight-year trophy drought and their recent collapse in form includes one win during eight matches.

Boss Rodolfo Arruabarrena challenged his beleaguered troops to “show the strong side” against Wahda.

He said: “This a very important game and both teams deserve to be in the final.

“We have to show the strong side of Al Wasl to win the title.”

Wasl have never featured in the AG Cup final before, while Wahda have won one and lost one.

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