Al Shaab coach says fate is 'in our hands' when it comes to relegation or staying in Pro League
Marius Sumudica, the Al Shaab coach, knows his side's hopes of staying in the top-flight league is in their own hands, and he is not expecting rivals Dibba Al Fujairah to drop any points.
Shaab are four points clear of second-bottom Dibba - with vastly superior goal difference - and realistically need two points from their final two games to guarantee survival. If Dibba fail to win both of their matches then Shaab will also stay up.
Shaab will be at home to Al Wasl while Dibba travel to Kalba, who are already relegated, in Saturday night's penultimate round of Pro League games.
The final round of matches, on May 25, sees Shaab at Al Shabab and Dibba at Ajman.
"Our fate of staying in the top flight is in our own hands because I don't expect Dibba to lose anyone of their two games," Sumudica said. "And the sooner we achieve our objective it is better for us, which makes our game against Wasl as the most important. All the players are aware of this and I have told them we need one massive effort to win the three points against Wasl.
"They have done admirably well in the past four games to win 10 points from a possible 12 before losing to Al Jazira [2-0] last week. Still we played a good game and didn't deserve this result.
"But that's how football is."
Shaab's relegation fears resurfaced after Dibba's stunning 1-0 victory last week over Al Ahli, the second-placed team in the league, closing their gap to four points with two games left.
"When we were seven points clear from Dibba with three games left, everyone thought we were safe from the drop zone. This was a big mistake and now we are in big danger again," the Romanian Sumudica said.
Dibba's coach Abdullah Misfir has told his players to simply aim to win their remaining games and hope Shaab drop points.
"Our chances are still very slim because much will depend on the outcome of Shaab's results," said the Emirati.
"We can only try to win the next game and see what happens next.
"It was a terrific effort from the players against Ahli when we had our backs to the wall.
"It will be an interesting evening with relegation battle the highlight in this penultimate round of the league. I wish judgment can be deferred until the final round games next week."
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Published: May 17, 2013 04:00 AM