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Marcos Paqueta taking nothing for granted

Dubai: Marcos Paqueta is taking nothing for granted as Al Shahab continue their search for second position in the Arabian Gulf League this season.

Al Ahli had been chasing leaders Al Ahli for a major part of the season, but two defeats in the last two weeks saw them slip 12 points away from their neighbours, who can win their second crown of the professional era with a draw against Al Wasl later on Thursday.

However, Al Shabab coach Paqueta is not too concerned about the slip-ups. “No one gave us a chance to be in second at the start of the season. But now that we are here, we want to make sure we keep our opponents at bay and end in this position,” Paqueta promised.

Al Shabab travel to Al Nasr on Friday for the Dubai derby and a favourable result will keep chasing Al Jazira at bay with three more matches remaining.

“It’s going to be a tough match as Al nasr has been improving with each match and that too without the services of a third professional player in their side. Our target now is to maintain our position and keep the distance from our rivals,” Paqueta said.

The Brazilian was only too pleased with his team’s enviable position despite being weighed down by a lack of resources compared to some of the other big clubs. “This doesn’t disturb me at all, but it only proves that we have been doing something right on and off the field. So far we have surrendered the second place on just two occasions and after 23 rounds we can confidently manage to keep this spot,” Paqueta said.