The time has come for Al Wasl to stop finding excuses for their indfferent start to the season, according to star forward Caio Canedo.
The Cheetahs shocked hotly-tipped Al Jazira in the opening round of the Arabian Gulf League with a 2-1 victory in Abu Dhabi.
But before Friday’s revitalising 2-0 Arabian Gulf Cup win against Bani Yas, Gabriel Calderon’s men had suffered successive top-flight losses to Al Nasr and Al Ahli as well as a further goalless cup draw against the former.
Caio was the forefront of the fightback at Zabeel Stadium and insisted this is the standard last term’s sixth-placed finishers must reach every week.
“The team fought for everything against Bani Yas and produced everything we put in during the week,” said the 25-year-old, who turned a successful season-long loan switch into a permanent five-year deal during the summer.
“It is the beginning of the season, but we cannot find any more excuses. We lost two games in a row. Al Wasl is too big for this.
“We cannot find ourselves losing points no matter what tournament we are playing in. We take every tournament seriously and want to win every game possible.
“We respect all teams and we played good football (against Bani Yas). Edgar Bruno was fantastic for me and Fabio De Lima, he holds the ball up so well. He is so strong, we can breathe a little.
“Game by game, we have to win. I have never won a title with Al Wasl, but I am looking forward to winning many.”
Wasl’s attack has been reshaped by the arrival of powerful centre forward Edgar from Al Shabab, who replaced miniscule attacking midfielder Ederson Alves in their four-player foriegn quota.
Their Brazilian trio were key against a high-flying Sky Blues outfit hamstrung by international absentees.
Caio’s sharp turn and deadly cross set up fellow forward Fabio for the second-minute opener which ended a three-match scoreless run for the club, before their new addition stuck out a long limb to cut out an awful goal kick from Mohamed Khalaf which Caio chipped in.
Giant target man Edgar has gone more than a month without adding to his solitary strike in yellow, further missing two one-on-ones against the out-of-sorts visitors to the Zabeel.
Yet Caio was in no doubt about the value of a player who produced a joint-league-high eight assists last term prior to his July move across Dubai.
He said: “It is different. When I played in Brazil, I always played with very tall guys like him.
“He is surprising everybody, as he often ends up on the wings. He is not a guy who is just header, header, header. He can play outside, too. He makes things so easy, he makes the wall and can pass.
“Last year was great with Ederson but we have to adapt to Edgar as soon as possible. Al Wasl must be up top.”
Wasl will be keen to rise from 11th in the AGL table when they host bottom-placed Al Shaab on Saturday, a club yet to win.