Hertog Says his Team Deserved More From the Performance

Abu Dhabi: 5 February 2019
Al Jazira head coach Damien Hertog said he could not fault his players’ efforts despite seeing his team lose to Shabab Al Ahli in the Arabian Gulf League.
Following a month-long break, Al Jazira were unable to resume their campaign on a winning note after Shabab Al Ahli struck deep into stoppage time to seal a 1-0 victory. 
It was a tough result for Hertog’s side who could not convert any of their four chances on target.
“During the first half, we controlled the game and we played well in their half,” said Hertog during the post-match press conference. 
“The game was tense and it was obvious that the first team who scored would go on and win the game. We had a good opportunity to score through Ernest Asante, but unfortunately he didn’t manage to take it this time.
“It was really frustrating for us that we conceded in stoppage time. All of my players gave 100 per cent and gave their maximum, but it wasn’t enough on the night.”
Al Jazira went into the match without key players including Sebastien Siani, Khalifa Al Hammadi and Salim Al Eidi suspended. Mohammed Jamal and Salim Abdullah were also ruled out due to injury.
Hertog admits the absences did affect the way they played, but is focused on getting back to winning ways against Fujairah next week.
He continued, “I don’t want to give excuses, but we were affected by the absence of some players and this caused a loss of harmony. We were hoping to get the three points to restart the season, but now we must focus to win the next game.”  
Hertog named UAE internationals Ali Khaseif, Ali Mabkhout, Khalfan Mubarak and Fares Juma in his starting line-up following their participation in the Asian Cup. Although they could not inspire Al Jazira to victory, Hertog was satisfied with the quartet’s efforts.
“Playing so many games at the Asian Cup affected the players, but this is normal. They played well tonight and it has been great to have them back in training”, he added.