Al Ain will only get better after going top of the Arabian Gulf League, according to buoyant coach Zlatko Dalic.
The Boss hit the front on Saturday night for the first time this season after securing a 3-0 victory against Fujairah. This saw them finally fulfil the second and final outstanding fixture accrued during their run to the 2014 AFC Champions League semi-finals.
Victory sent the Boss three points clear of long-term leaders Al Jazira ahead of Sunday’s pivotal clash at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.
The Fujairah triumph contained a number of further positives for Al Ain.
Striker Asamoah Gyan struck a brace as he showed signs of shaking off the lethargy that has afflicted him since Ghana’s run to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final.
There was also further attacking inspiration from Omar Abdulrahman, who sparked an improved showing after the break when introduced as a substitute following three weeks out injured and a two-game winless streak was brought to an end.
Dalic’s only worry was the short gap before Tuesday’s ACL Group B trip to Iran’s Naft Tehran.
“The players gave a remarkable performance that helped them to win after they imposed their personality on the opposing team,” the Croatian said.
“I was aware of the difficulty of the match against Fujairah, but the players have succeeded in achieving a well-deserved win after they took control of the game.
“The players came out of the game with several gains. They have regained a winning situation after the previous loss against Fujairah and draw against Al Shabab [Riyadh in the ACL], Asamoah Gyan returned to scoring with two goals and on top of that, Omar Abdulrahman returned.
“Going to the top of the league will not put any pressure on the players, but on the contrary will boost their self-confidence and increase morale. However, we do not have enough time to prepare this team to face Naft Tehran in Champions League.”
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