Al Ain boss Zoran Mamic points finger of blame at UAE set-up for tough 2-1 Al Dhafra win

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(Al Ain).

Al Ain boss Zoran Mamic has repeated displeasure with the UAE set-up after his ill-prepared and “not happy” international contingent labored to a trying 2-1 win against Al Dhafra.

A total of seven Boss players were selected by the Whites for this month’s 2-0 loss to Trinidad and Tobago and 3-0 victory against Laos in Catalonia. All of them were, at least, named in the match-day squad for Saturday’s Arabian Gulf League-resumption, in which veteran substitute Ibrahim Diaky’s late double secured victory for the out-of-sorts champions.

This poor performance reopened wounds from August’s Arabian Gulf Super Cup loss to Al Wahda. Arguments had opened up then about the involvement and use of Al Ain stars in a three-week training camp in Austria.

“I remember the first half for Al Ain in the Arabian Gulf Super Cup that took place in Cairo at the beginning of the season,” said Mamic, whose side went 3-0 down before eventually suffering heartbreak in a penalty shootout.

“The international players had just returned from the national team camp and the first half compared to the one today [against Dhafra].

“When the players return, they appear bad.

“The players are generally not good and they are not happy, needing time to adapt to the team.

“They lack the required elements of speed, fitness and energy. They did not participate in the matches as required.

“Mohamed Ahmed played only five minutes, Ahmed Barman played 10 minutes and Mohamed Abdulrahman 20 minutes.

“Amer Abdulrahman played one match and so did Rayan Yaslam. This is difficult for me as a coach, as I am responsible for the results of my team, with respect to the preparations of the team.”

Mamic had been forced to distance himself last weekend from reports linking him to replacing under-pressure tactician Alberto Zaccheroni at the helm of January 2019’s Asian Cup hosts.

With his mind back on club duties, special praise was reserved for the continued influential role performed by 36-year-old midfielder Diaky.

Mamic said: “Diaky is a professional football player who can make a difference at any moment.

“For any player of his age, it is difficult to play the roles he is assigned to on the pitch. What he presented is a lesson for the team’s young players.

“He produced great levels in the summer’s training camp and he plays a very-important role on the bench by guiding and encouraging his team-mates on the pitch.”

Al Ain’s title defence continues on Friday at an Al Nasr side who’ve conceded seven goals in two shock top-flight defeats.

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