Ahmed says Al Ain focused on gaining three points from trip to Jeddah

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Ready for a fight: Ismail Ahmed (l) fights for the ball against Al Ahli’s Taiseer Al Jassam.

Star playmaker Omar Abdulrahman struck a superb free-kick last time out in the tight continental clash between the sides to give the Boss their first points in Group D.

Another stern examination awaits after the buoyant hosts beat rivals Al Ittihad 4-2 on Sunday.

For Ahmed, 32, the result would have no bearing on the match at King Abdullah Sports City.

He said: “I do not ever think about the opposing team’s circumstances. We only focus on the importance of winning this game. Football doesn’t care about such things. We can be free of any pressure.

“Our single goal is to get three points and we have a great desire to return to the UAE with a victory which will delight our loyal fans.

“We will provide a performance which befits the name and reputation of our club.”

In 10 previous visits to Saudi Arabia, Al Ain have lost eight times. But under boss Zlatko Dalic, they have won during two of their three previous trips.

An eight-strong UAE contingent also gained a morale-boosting 1-1 draw with their Saudi counterparts last week to ease into the third round of World Cup 2018 qualifying.

“It is very difficult to put in a strong display in the AFC Champions League after a stop which saw the departure of more than eight players from the preparatory programs for the team,” Dalic stated.

“We are facing a big challenge, but there are no reasons to preclude us from a strong appearance and a win against the hosts.”

A tight pool sees this evening’s opponents locked on three points at the halfway stage alongside

Uzbekistan’s Nasaf, with Jaish runaway leaders thanks to their 100-percent record which includes a pair of opening victories against Al Ain.

The host’s former Tottenham Hotspur coach Christian Gross demanded a victory to “revive” hopes of finishing in the top two.

“We realise this confrontation is very important for both teams,” said the 61-year-old of his Saudi Professional League table toppers.

“But the game is in our land and among our fans so we have no choice but to beat Al Ain, to make up for the last loss in front of them.

This will revive our fortunes again.”

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