Al Ain defender Mohammed Fayez has hailed the early impact of new coach Ivan Leko, insisting the Coatian is already proving to be a “valuable asset” as the Boss look to bounce back from a disappointing 2018/19 campaign.
The Garden City side enjoyed a splendid first half of the campaign, marked by making the final of the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi in December – where they were beaten 4-1 by Spanish giants Real Madrid.
But their form fell away drastically after the Arabian Gulf League season resumed following a staggered campaign due to the Club World Cup and January’s Asian Cup. They fell out of title contention and eventually finished fourth – only Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club’s triumph in the President’s Cup final provided them with an AFC Champions League lifeline as they will now participate in the play-off rounds.
The Boss are currently in Europe on pre-season and defender Fayez has been impressed with the new man in charge.
“He has set up the team’s programme to boost further the strength of the Al Ain team to be able to clinch more titles,” said the 29-year-old full-back of the former Croatia international midfielder.
“He has great charisma and deals well with all players. You can tell that he has a clear imprint in enhancing all the players’ potentials, and this is what we have realised since day one.
“I can assure you that he is a valuable asset to the team and I do not doubt that, with him, we will be able to achieve the desired goals.
“I am highly confident that our loyal fans will never let us walk alone and hope together we will celebrate winning new titles.”
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