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    UAE: New Coach Toni Oliveira Brings Asian Football To Sharjah

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    Ali Swaidan
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    UAE: New Coach Toni Oliveira Brings Asian Football To Sharjah

    Post by Ali Swaidan on Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:15 pm

    Portuguese boss Toni Oliveira has pleased his employers already.

    After just two weeks in the job, he has led the UAE club to the Asian Champions League. Sharjah defeated Dempo of India 3-0 in the West Asian play-off on Wednesday and now the team will have to prepare for a group containing some of Asia’s big guns.

    Oliveira is playing down expectations and has told fans that Asia is not a priority.

    “Winning the match is good for the club and the players,” said Oliveira according to The National.

    “We have qualified for the Champions League for the second time and we will have a taste of this great competition. But our focus is not on this tournament – our goal is to win the Pro League or improve our current position.

    “Dempo were a team we could beat and we did that. The next round is against strong teams and we should know what our direction should be. So our goal is to first do well in UAE... that is what I believe.”

    Sharjah will do battle with Iran’s Persepolis, Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s Al Gharafa.

    The club are in mid-table in the league and are looking to climb up the table.

    “In the Pro League, we are playing five games away and four at home. At the same time, we will also be playing in Asia. We don’t have a great number of players to be competing in both the tournaments. So we have to choose.

    “It is important for the club to be in the Champions League, but we have to be realistic and look at our potential.

    For example, I know Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab very well. They are not Dempo – Shabab are a very strong side and are playing in two finals at home.

    “That is why I believe we should concentrate more on the domestic league. That should be our goal.”

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