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Damien Confident Al Jazira can Find Attacking Solutions without Khalfan

News
Abu Dhabi, 12 April 2019 
 
Head coach Damien Hertog insists Al Jazira have enough strength in depth to cope with the absence of injured star Khalfan Mubarak in their Arabian Gulf League clash against Ittihad Kalba.
 
Al Jazira will travel to Ittihad Kalba on Saturday with The Pride of Abu Dhabi looking to build on last week’s emphatic 5-1 victory over reigning league champions Al Ain. 
 
The visitors will have to do without the services of Mubarak after the UAE international was ruled out for a month following his injury against Al Ain. Mubarak is among five absentees with Salim Rashid (defender), Mohamed Jamal (midfielder), Adel Abubakr (goalkeeper) and Ahmed Rabia (striker) also missing the match.
 
However, Hertog believes there is plenty of talent within his squad to deal without Mubarak, who has 10 league goals and 12 assists to his name.
 
“I am very confident we can win matches without Khalfan,” Hertog said in his pre-match press conference. “He has been excellent for us this season, creating many chances and scoring goals. But in football, teams do not achieve things with just 11 players, it is the whole squad that pulls together. 
 
“This is an opportunity for other players in the squad to stand up and show their quality and am sure they will be able to show everyone how talented they are.” 
 
With 16 points separating his fourth-placed Al Jazira and Ittihad Kalba, who sit 10th and winless in their last five matches, Hertog believes his players must play to their potential to register back-to-back victories.
 
“We have done our homework on them and they play a different style of football so we have to play differently, added the Dutchman. 
 
“We will stick with our own philosophy which is to create a lot of chances and score goals. We have lost our last two away matches but if we play like how we did against Al Ain, we can win the match.”
 
Young defender Mohamed Al Attas said it is a crucial match for Al Jazira. “It will be a difficult game as Ittihad Kalba will be playing in front of their home fans but we have the desire to win.
 
“We have improved defensively and have been playing really good football recently so we will do our best to claim all three points.”