Al Jazira new boy Kenwyne Jones has urged the crisis club to go “back to the drawing board” in their bid to drag themselves away from the Arabian Gulf League’s relegation zone.
The hotly-tipped Pride of Abu Dhabi’s campaign of struggle continued this weekend when a 2-1 derby defeat to Al Wahda saw them drop down to 11th, two places and two points off the dreaded bottom two.
Jones, 31, joined on loan last month from Cardiff City in a bid to arrest their freefall and he believes all areas of the team must improve immediately.
“The reality is that we are that close to the zone,” the centre forward said. “We have to put that out of our minds and get back to the drawing board.
“We need to start winning games.Defensively, we need to tighten up as a team. Of course, we also need to score more.”
Jazira finished second under Eric Gerets last term and were expected to challenge for the title under returning boss Abel Braga, who enjoyed a trophy-laden previous spell from 2008-11. But this situation turned into a nightmare, with Braga proving a disastrous re-appointment prior to his replacement by Dutchman Henk ten Cate in December.
Former Sunderland and Stoke City target man Jones is convinced his new club can only climb the standings if they work together.
He said: “I have just joined the team and I do not know what happened earlier on. All I can say is going forward we have to bind together and work harder.
“We have to try to get things right.”
Jazira fought back gamely from Chile playmaker Jorge Valdivia’s well-worked opener at Al Nahyan Stadium, UAE forward Ali Mabkhout turning in from a corner in reply.
They even looked to have gone in front at the start of the second half, lively winger Sultan Al Shamsi’s corner appearing to cross the line only for the officials to turn away their protests.
This sense of frustration was added to in injury time as UAE U-23 striker Sultan Saif tapped in a rebound to claim the capital spoils.
“It was very hard to take,” Jones said. “Especially when you score a goal and it is not given.
“Some of the calls were also a bit dubious. It was a hard one to take.
“At the same time, we have five or six officials in the game and one on the line. The ball crossed the line and the official just stood there. He wouldn’t make a decision. If you watched it on television, it crossed the line.
“I do not know what is the purpose of the official, there.
“Everyone was disappointed in the dressing room. Coming down to the end, it was a bit tight.”
Jazira are next in action on Thursday when they host mid-table Dibba Al Fujairah.