Dubai: Jose Vitor Peseiro was pleased with the manner in which his young players have been responding to the team-building process that is currently on at Al Wahda.
The former champions have more than made up for the slow start to their season with some impressive results in the second half of the Arabian Gulf League.
The 2009-10 champions did not have an impressive record for the first part of the league with four wins, six draws and three losses, something that they have already rectified with five wins, three draws and a loss with the last four matches remaining.
Al Wahda’s latest was a 2-1 win over title chasing Al Shabab late on Saturday that took them in fourth place with 36 points, still 15 points away from league leaders Al Ahli.
“We may not have played well but we fought well and it’s good to see the youngsters fight till the end,” Peseiro told media here on Saturday.
“Al Shabab played really well, created so many chances but we had two chances and we took them and the three points. There are times when we have played well but ended up losing or getting a draw. So I will take this win,” he added.
Al Wahda handed Al Shabab their second defeat in as many weeks as the club from the capital rode on a brace from Argentinean Sebastian Tagliabeu.
After spending much of his time assisting in the defence, Tagliabeu cancelled out Edgar Bruno Da Silva’s 56th minute lead for the hosts, from the spot in the 64th minute. And then with just one minute of injury time remaining the Argentinean broke the off-side trap and scored to give Al Wahda the vital three points.
“Now we will fight for fourth position, but there are others like Bani Yas, Al Dhafra and Al Nasr all challenging us. It will be hard work, but I have the confidence in my players to fight till the end. For the time-being it will be one match at a time,” Peseiro said.
Last week, nine-man Al Shabab had lost 0-1 to relegation faced Dubai Club. And a second defeat on the trot does not exactly help coach Marcos Paqueta’s quest for a strong finish.
Al Shabab had scored 30 and let in 17 goals in the first round of the league. However, in their last nine matches of the second round they have scored just six goals and let in four.
“The team has not gone down. We’ve done well to stay in second place contrary to all expectations. I am not here to predict the results and I don’t have a crystal ball. We are very proud of the work we have put in and we deserve to be second. We will be fighting for a top spot,” Paqueta promised.