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Give Emenike Time, Dalic Counsels Al Ain Supporters

Nigeria international gets the backing of his coach as club supporters call for his head

Zlatko Dalic has staunchly defended Emmanuel Emenike, asking Al Ain supporters to give the under-fire striker time to prove his worth.

Emenike has been heavily criticised for his performances since this summer’s one-year loan move from Fenerbahce despite scoring six goals in eight matches, including two in August’s 4-2 Super Cup victory against Al Nasr.

The Nigerian, who replaced the prolific Asamoah Gyan, was jeered by sections of the

Al Ain support as he was substituted in last Friday’s Arabian Gulf League encounter with Al Jazira. Al Ain, the defending champions and currently top of the table, won the match 2-0. However, Dalic insists he has full confidence in Emenike.

“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,” the Al Ain coach said. “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.

“I cannot be happy with the reaction of some people. We won, we played fantastic and some people criticised Emenike.

“Please, our fans, be patient, give time, give everyone a chance, to me, to my team, to Emenike. It’s not easy, but we didn’t deserve this reaction, especially after the Jazira game. It was very bad.”

–  Chimaobi Uchendu

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