Concerns over form of Al Jazira's Fernandinho

UAE Pro League side's coach Paulo Bonamigo frustrated as Brazilian flops in Etisalat Cup win over Dhafra, while Abu Dhabi rivals Al Wahda sign two Emirati players.

Paulo Bonamigo, the Al Jazira coach, will 'evaluate Fernandinho's contributions to the team'. Jake Badger for The National
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ABU DHABI // The future of the misfiring forward Fernandinho is to be discussed by management at Al Jazira.

Fernandinho has not scored in 18 games in all competitions for the Abu Dhabi club and his substitution during Friday night's 1-0 win over Al Dhafra in the Etisalat Cup was greeted by cheers from the Jazira supporters.

The Brazilian missed two good scoring opportunities during the game, and Paulo Bonamigo, the coach, said he understood the frustrations of the supporters.

"First of all we can see he is spoiling some good scoring opportunities," Bonamigo said.

"He is trying hard though. The moves he creates are very important for the team and he is also showing a lot of improvement in his play all round.

"We are sure that from the moment he starts to score he will improve his own confidence as at the moment we feel he has put himself under a lot of pressure.

"Tonight he got some good opportunities, he did all the right things yet he missed the target."

Bonamigo said that the lack of goals from the player signed on a three-year deal in the summer was an item on the agenda for meetings with his back-room staff. "Unfortunately he has been unable to score," the coach said. "We will still evaluate his contributions to the team and decide his future when the club management and the technical staff meet."

Bonamigo is "happy" with Jazira's second summer signing, the South Korean defender Shin Hyung-min.

"He is at a very good level and has the ability to play in different positions, both in the defence and the midfield," the Brazilian said.

Bonamigo, however, was not totally happy with his team's progress despite the fact they are in contention for all three domestic titles. "This is a team that can do much better than we have performed so far," he said.

"Of course we have done quite well from a poor start to be in second position in the Pro League, reach the quarter-finals in the President's Cup and fighting for the top spot in our group in the Etisalat Cup.

"I would like to think we can keep improving in the second half of the season."

Meanwhile, Al Wahda became the first team to take advantage of next month's transfer window to sign two Emirati players - Adil Saqr of Kalba on a three-year deal and Abdulla Traure of Al Ahli on a six-month loan.

They have also confirmed Eric Mouloungui, the Gabon international who suffered an ankle injury during Wahda's pre-season training camp in Germany, will return for the second half of the season.

He will replace Marcelo Oliveira, the Brazilian forward, who was signed from Sharjah as a replacement.

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