Head coach Laurentiu Reghecampf insists the AFC Champions League is still important for Al Wahda but stressed he may have to rotate his squad and “protect their players” so they remain competitive in all competitions this season.
The Clarets host Qatar’s Al Duhail, leaders of their domestic league, on Monday evening with Wahda looking to bounce back from their 5-0 thrashing to Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv Tashkent in their opening match a week ago.
Reghecampf fielded a weakened team with top-scorer Sebastian Tagliabue, defender Rim Chang-woo and attacker Mourad Batna among the players that did not travel for that fixture.
The Romanian confirmed he has a full squad to choose from for Monday’s game, but also stressed he will rest players if they are not 100 per cent fit – no matter the competition.
“Let’s finish this conversation because I don’t like to explain it every time. I told all of you that we take it game by game and it’s not about the league, cup or Asia,” said Reghecampf, whose side sit second in the Arabian Gulf League and are still in the President’s Cup and Arabian Gulf Cup.
“It’s about our team and players. They are the ones who have to play. It’s not easy for them to play every three days. Sometimes we have players who are injured or sick and not 100 per cent fit to play the game. That’s why we have to make the team what we think is best. We cannot force the players to suffer more injury in any competition. We have to protect our players and see our targets.”
His side face a stern test against a free-scoring Al Duhail side who have scored 64 goals in their league so far. They are searching for their second successive victory after brushing aside Zob Ahan 3-1 last week but Tagliabue is convinced they enough firepower to cause them problems.
“The tournament is very difficult and we cannot look at the past now, we only have to look at tomorrow,” said the Argentine. “Every day is a new game. We have had eight months to prepare ourselves. I’m sure by the end of tomorrow we will get the three points.”
Know more about Sport360 Application