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Ten Cate: Ready for Al Dhafra Despite the Big Absenses

Abu Dhabi: September 7, 2017
Henk Ten Cate, the manager of Al Jazira team, admitted that their preparations for the match against Al Dhafra in the 1st week of AG Cup were not ideal because of the big absentees in his squad, but at the same time he insisted that his team is ready to battle their opponents next Friday, and that he is has full confidence on his youngsters to get the job done.
Speaking to the media during the pre-match press conference the coach said “We suffered from some troubles preparing for Al Dhafra game because we missed 8 international players for the last 4 or 6 weeks, so we are forced to rely on the youngsters to participate in the cup, and I put my whole confidence in their abilities to give their best and get positive results”.
“We’re still monitoring the physical situations of the international players, and we’re sure that Ali Mabkhout, Mohamed Fawzi, Fares Jumaa will not play against Al Dhafra, and I don’t think Ahmed Khalil and Ahmed Al Attas will play either because they are tired from the last match against Iraq and also because of the long flights. But I was very happy seeing Khalil playing the 180 minutes against Saudi and Iraq because he worked very hard on his fitness during the training camp, and at the same time am worried about Sardor Rashidov because he was sick and didn’t participate against China, and played as substitute against South Korea, and I can only hope all the players will reach their ideal fitness level before the first league match against Ajman”. Ten Cate added.
The manager asked the media and fans to be more patient on their expectations for the new signings, and explained “The absence of the internationals didn’t affect our preparations only, but it also denied the new signings from their chance to adopt correctly with their new team because the squad didn’t take its full shape until now, so media and fans should be more patient with them, and give them the time they need to adopt before setting high expectations about them”.
The Dutchman refused to anticipate the game scenario against Al Dhafra, and said “I don’t have enough information about Al Dhafra because they made some changes on their squad during the summer transfers window, and I can’t expect the scenario of the match also, so am focusing only on using the next hours to prepare my team for the match in the best possible way”.
He finished his comments in the conference saying “We aim for the 3 points against Al Dhafra of course, but what matters the most for me is the first league match against Ajman because I will have my full squad to work with and I will be able to do my job in better conditions”.