Ayman El Ramady saw enough from his players in defeat to champions Al Jazira to suggest that Ajman can secure Arabian Gulf League survival on their return to the top-flight following a three-year hiatus.
The Orange Brigade were bright and busy at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, stifling Henk ten Cate’s hosts but also creating problems for a side whose rampant form last season and summer transfer business suggests they will once again be the team to beat in the Emirates in 2017/18.
They looked anything but champions against El Ramady’s newly-promoted team though and were lucky to escape with all three points after Brazilian winger Romarinho struck 10 minutes from time to spare their blushes.
Ex-Al Dhafra and Al Shaab coach El Ramady was encouraged by his team’s performance and says they will need to maintain this level in order to stay in the league.
“I’m happy for the team performance and I think we deserved one point,” said Egyptian El Ramady.
“And we need to maintain these performances. We are trying to maximise the positives. Overall we lost but hopefully we will recover and build up the positivity to encourage our players.”
Adeilson, snapped up from Brazilian Serie C side Tombense in the summer, impressed, as did journeyman forward Bakary Kone, formerly of Ittihad Kalba and Dibba Al Fujairah.
El Ramady also added Uzbekistan’s former Al Shabab midfielder Azizbek Haydarov in the summer, although he says their hopes of survival are linked to completing their foreign quota with a fourth signing required.
“It’s possible to survive in this league. But this depends on a few conditions,” added El Ramady.
“We need to complete our foreign quota. We have good foreign players but we need to sign a fourth one and get the best. We need to maximise our quota as they will provide 60 per cent of the strength of the team.
“Overall the local players are doing a good job but we have only two foreigners and Jazira have the best four in the league, so I think it was a reasonable performance.
“There are many reasons for only playing two foreigners and why we only have three. We are looking for another one. Unfortunately, the one player we wanted signed for someone in Saudi Arabia so the market is difficult right now. There are limitations on finding a suitable player.”
“Haydarov, he has been away with Uzbekistan playing in World Cup qualifiers, so we did not want to play him in the in the beginning so we gave him the second half.
“Overall I am happy with the performance and we will look to get better results in the coming matches.”
Emirati defender Rashed Malallah also missed the game due to a family emergency and El Ramady hopes to have him back for the visit of Shabab Al Ahli Dubai next Saturday.
El Ramady said: “We missed a very important player for us, Rashed Malallah, he missed the game at the last minute because his brother and family were in an accident, so I wish they recover soon.”
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