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Back to basics for Navy Blues

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 15 December 2017

Picture: Phototek

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Auckland City FC will face Tasman United under the temporary leadership of Ivan Vicelich this Sunday.

Vicelich, club legend and now assistant coach to Ramon Tribulietx, steps into the hot seat with the head coach remaining in Spain for personal reasons.

Tribulietx, interviewed by BeinSports and the Daily Marca recently, told from Spain about his view of the 1-0 defeat to Al Jazira in Al Ain and why the match with Tasman United is vital for the Navy Blues.

"It is difficult for me to describe how I feel after the game in Al Ain with Al Jazira. It was a game we dominated, a game where we had the best chances and a very good number of them.

"We controlled the game, we attacked well especially in the second half and we unfortunately only lacked that accuracy in front of goal that together with a very good game from their keeper meant that we lost a match where we did everything but come away with a win.

"I can only say I am very proud of our players and the effort they put in, proud of the game they played in front of the world and proud of everyone involved with the club.

"We have had very good comments around the globe for the way we played, for the character we showed, and although it is not what we wanted, we have to be proud and satisfied for what we have achieved. We are very well respected around the world, we have always competed exceptionally well and we have to keep growing in the same direction," he said.

Al Jazira have advanced to a semi-final showdown with European champions Real Madrid thanks to their 1-0 win over Urawa Reds in Abu Dhabi while the Navy Blues are thrust into a difficult match with a Tasman United starting to get to grips with life in the ISPS Handa Premiership.

"Tasman United, now in their second season of the ISPS Handa Premiership, are a team that has been renovated, a team that is playing with a bit more character – a character that shows in the results they have been getting.

"They have some well-known faces to us like Cam Lindsay in midfield, the brothers Yousif and Abdulla al Kalisy, the quality of Paul Ifill and the work rate of players like Cory Chettleburgh. Tasman United pose a significant challenge for us as we reacclimatize to domestic football after our efforts at the FIFA Club World Cup.

"Its vital we move forward from the disappointment in Al Ain quickly. We need to leave behind the game last week and concentrate on the task at hand. The ISPS Handa Premiership is where everything begins for us if we want to get back to the top so we need to acknowledge the importance of the three points on offer before the Christmas break.

"We need to find the energy to keep going, appreciate we have another opportunity to play football, which is our passion, get out there and try to play a good game for ourselves and for our supporters," he said.

Sunday's game is poignant for the Navy Blues with technical analyst Ryan Faithfull set to bring his four year spell with the club to a conclusion after deciding to move to the USA with his partner.

"I would like to acknowledge the fact that today is Ryan Faithfull’s last game at the club. Ryan has decided to move to the USA with his partner to take up an opportunity to work in an interesting part of the world.

"Ryan has been very good for the club and an important person in our staff over the last 4 years. Ryan has developed as a coach with us and has given us his passion for football. His ideas and his technical ability will be missed and most importantly his personality and character too.

"I would like to wish him the best in his coming future. We wish Ryan a safe journey and much success in life and football," Tribulietx said.


Match Details
ISPS Handa Premiership
Sunday 17 December 2017
Auckland City FC v Tasman United
Kiwitea Street, Sandringham
Kick-off: 2pm

AC (from): Enaut Zubikarai (GK), Liam Graham, Takuya Iwata, Mario Bilen, Angel Berlanga (c), Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, Cam Howieson, Albert Riera, Darren White, Ryan De Vries, Fabrizio Tavano, Kris Bright, Dan Morgan, Daewook Kim, Cameron Brown (GK), Conor Tracey (GK), Marko Dordevic, Callum McCowatt, Reid Drake, Harry Edge, Alfie Rogers, Emiliano Tade, Micah Lea'alafa.

Coach: Ivan Vicelich

*Auckland City FC Match Day squad to be confirmed

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