Pablo Hernandez, fresh off President’s Cup, keen on extending Al Nasr stay

John McAuley reports the former Swansea City and Valencia man Pablo Hernandez has found a comfort zone in Dubai with Al Nasr and would like to help the club to more trophies.

Al Nasr's Pablo Hernandez reacts after scoring his penalty in the President's Cup final on Wednesday in Al Ain. Pawan Singh / The National / June 3, 2015
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AL AIN // Pablo Hernandez has described his six months at Al Nasr as "unbelievable" and says he is eager to remain at the club next season.

The Spanish winger, formerly of Swansea City and Valencia, signed for the Dubai side in January on a six-month loan deal from Qatar’s Al Arabi, where he has since enjoyed a hugely successful spell.

Days after arriving in the UAE, Hernandez played an integral role in Nasr’s Arabian Gulf Cup victory against Sharjah, scoring a goal and creating another in the final as his new team triumphed 4-1.

He then helped Nasr to the semi-finals of the GCC Clubs Cup and a fifth-place finish in the Arabian Gulf League, before providing a crucial contribution to their President's Cup final win against Al Ahli on Wednesday – the first time Nasr had captured the trophy in 26 years.

In the final at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Hernandez stepped up to take Nasr’s first penalty in the shootout, with Ivan Jovanovic’s men eventually prevailing 3-0. The match had finished 1-1 in normal time.

Afterwards Hernandez, 30, said that he never imagined his half a season with the club would prove so productive.

“Yes, it’s a short time – only six months – but to take two cups and play one semi-final in the Gulf Cup, it’s unbelievable,” said the former Spanish international. “In my first week and my first game here, I played in one final and won the trophy, and then my last game is another final. It’s an amazing list and to win both finals, take both cups, this is very, very special.

“The feeling is unbelievable. This is for the entire club and all the fans. Now is the time for joy, for celebrating and after it’s rest for the holidays.”

Hernandez’s future at Nasr remains uncertain despite the success, given the management have yet to decide whether to retain his services. They have an option to make permanent his loan deal, although the club have always maintained they would not make a decision until the season had finished.

Brett Holman, the Nasr captain, is in a similar position to Hernandez as he also waits for Nasr to approach him about renewing his contract.

Like the Australian, Hernandez is keen to stay at Al Maktoum Stadium.

“I don’t know [what the situation is],” he said. “Now is the time for celebrating and after I’ll speak to the club,” he said. “I’m very, very happy here, but I need to talk to the club, see what the future holds for the next year and maybe I’ll have a chance to continue here. If I continue it’s good for me because, as I said, I am very, very happy at the club.”

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