A section of Al Ain fans jeered Nigeria striker Emmanuel Emenike when he was substituted in the team’s last league game against Al Jazira....
Emenike’s club won the game 2-0 and the defending champions are currently top of the Arabian Gulf League. However, Al Ain coach Zlatko Dalic has risen stoutly to the defence of the striker, who recently quit international football.
“I cannot be happy with the reaction of some people. We won, we played fantastic and some people criticised Emenike," Dalic said.Al Ain have been the season’s early pacesetters, taking full points from six of their seven league matches thus far. Last month’s 2-1 defeat to Al Wahda, in which Emenike scored, represents their only defeat in the league this campaign.
"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. “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 and they support our team.
“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.
“If somebody needs criticism, criticise me, not my players. Because I put him in the team, I put him on the pitch, I will take everything on my back. But give support to my players.”