Ramon Diaz confident Al Nasr will bounce back against Khor Fakkan

The Dubai club have had mixed fortunes in their Adnoc Pro League games with one win sandwiched by two defeats

Sebastian Tagliabue (second from left) reacts after scoring in Al Nasr’s 2-1 win over Sharjah in the Arabian Gulf League at the Al Maktoum stadium on Sunday, March 8, 2021. Courtesy PLC
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Al Nasr have had mixed fortunes in their three Adnoc Pro League outings so far but manager Ramon Diaz is confident his side will bounce back when they meet Khor Fakkan at the Al Maktoum Stadium on Thursday.

The Dubai club were handed a 3-0 beating by Ajman in their opener but came back impressively to crush Al Orooba 5-0 in their next game, only to lose 2-1 to Al Jazira last time out.

“It was a disappointing result against Jazira but we have the quality to come back against Khor Fakkan as we did after the Ajman game,” Diaz said.

“We had a poor game followed by a good game, and then another poor game against Jazira. Those results are now behind us. We are fully focused on the game ahead.”

Diaz pointed they are heading for a difficult league season due to the scheduling of the matches. “I’m not trying to find excuses but the scheduling of the matches are not ideal because of the stoppages after two or three rounds of the league, and that breaks the momentum of a team’s preparations,” the Argentine said.

“I understand the scenario because the World Cup qualifying games were rescheduled after pandemic. However, it doesn’t help us as clubs and interruptions means we don’t get to train with a full squad.”

Diaz is facing a few injury problems with goalkeeper Ahmed Shambeh and Ryan Mendes set to pass fitness tests. “Shambeh is still under treatment for an injury and Ryan is fatigued after returning from national duty,” Diaz said.

“They haven’t joined the training but we still have a day and see if they are fit to play. But whether they are ready or not we still have a pretty good line-up assembled and ready for a win.”

Khor Fakkan have looked solid in their last two matches where they held both Al Wasl (1-1) and Al Wahda (0-0) to stalemates after going down to Al Ain in the opener 3-1.

Their Brazilian manager Caio Zanardi believes they have the momentum on their side when they travel to Dubai. “We are coming after two big games against Wasl and Wahda, and we can look forward to another good performance,” he said.

In Thursday's early game, last season’s runner up Baniyas travel to Al Dhafra.

Updated: September 15, 2021, 4:03 PM