Hertog Wants Al Jazira Fans to be their 12th Man Against Al Ain

Abu Dhabi, 2 April 2019
Al Jazira head coach Damien Hertog believes the club’s supporters can inspire his players, even more, when they take on Al Ain in the Abu Dhabi derby on Wednesday night. 
Al Jazira welcome second-placed and reigning Arabian Gulf League champions Al Ain to Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium with the hosts aiming to bounce back following last week’s 3-2 defeat to AGL leaders Sharjah.
With only four points separating both sides, Hertog expects another close encounter against their rivals and believes the home fans can play a vital role by being their ‘12th man’.
“Our home fans were disappointed by the result against Sharjah but we want to amend that by producing a winning performance at our own stadium,” Hertog said during his pre-match press conference.
“Our home fans are fantastic and they will be very important for this match especially as it’s an Abu Dhabi derby.
“Football is a team sport meaning that fans, players and coaches are in it together. We are all happy when we win but we are also sad when we lose.
“Our fans can give us an extra boost which will certainly help inspire my players even more to win the game. We all want to make them happy and proud and getting the victory in this Abu Dhabi derby is something that we are aiming for.” 
He added: “Sharjah was a tough opponent, but Al Ain will be a bigger test as they are the defending champions.”
Al Jazira will be without five players including defender Fares Juma (suspension) and attacking midfielder Leonardo (injured). However, Hertog believes there’s plenty of quality at his disposal that can help cause Al Ain problems.
“There will always be suspensions and injuries but Al Jazira has a strong talented squad and not just 11 players. These absences are an opportunity for other players to step up and show their quality and help the team,” he said. 
Meanwhile, midfielder Abdullah Ramadan believes his team-mates will give everything they’ve got to beat Al Ain.
“It will be a tough match against Al Ain,” he said. “We have put the Sharjah defeat behind us and we know we have to play our best football against Al Ain which I’m sure we will do.”