Coach defends Emenike, says he’s not Gyan


Al Ain coach, Zlatko Dalic, has moved to the defence of former Super Eagles forward, Emmanuel Emenike, who recently quit international football. The Nigerian international was subject to jeers by a section of the fans of the UAE when Emenike was substituted in the team’s last league game against Al Jazira.

Uba Group

“I cannot be happy with the reaction of some people. We won, we played fantastic and some people criticised Emenike,” Dalic said after the club won the game 2-0 to go top of the Arabian Gulf League. He added,

“Please, our fans, be patient, give time, give everyone a chance. We didn’t deserve this reaction, especially after the Jazira game. It was very bad. I understand our fans always want a fantastic performance, always five goals. It’s not possible. Please, support our team and our players will play better. In the last game, in front of 15,000 people, my players were fantastic. I expect it to always be like this.

“The last game we won, Emenike was part of our victory. For me, he played very well, did a great job, but only missed scoring a goal. Maybe it was Emenike’s best performance for me. I know everyone expects more goals, expects him to be a replacement for Asamoah Gyan. As I told you on his first day, it’s not easy to replace Gyan.”

Dalic is upbeat Emenike and mates will continue to fight for top spot until the league stops on December 26 for its winter break.