Asamoah Gyan, the Al Ain striker, is urging caution ahead of next weekâ€™s Asian Champions League quarter-final second leg against Al Ittihad, despite the Garden City club enjoying a two-goal aggregate lead.
The 2003 champions travel to Saudi Arabia buoyed by Tuesdayâ€™s 2-0 triumph at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, secured by second-half strikes from Ismail Ahmed and Gyan.
Such an advantage places Al Ain in a strong position to advance to the semi-finals for the first time in nine years, although Gyan has warned his teammates the tie is far from finished.
â€œIt was an important win,â€ he said. â€œWe wanted to win convincingly to make sure we secure our Champions League dream. So 2-0 at home is quite good, but we need to stay focused and make sure we do well in the second match.
â€œItâ€™s a very big game for us. We know itâ€™s all ahead of us and we have to keep calm, because itâ€™s not done yet. We must stay focused and do the right thing.â€
Al Ainâ€™s chances on Tuesday should be enhanced by the match being played behind closed doors, after a sanction placed on Ittihad by the Asian Football Confederation.
It dates from May and the crowd trouble at the Saudi sideâ€™s last-16 encounter with compatriots Al Shabab. Ittihad have appealed the decision.
â€œItâ€™s a big plus for us,â€ Gyan said. â€œTheyâ€™re playing at home, without fans and weâ€™ve certainly got an advantage there. What matters, though, is weâ€™ve won 2-0 and weâ€™re going there to make sure we qualify. Whatever the result may be, we have to qualify for the next stage. Thatâ€™s our goal.â€
Gyanâ€™s first-leg goal took his tally this year for the tournament to 11, stretching his lead at the top of the scorersâ€™ chart.
The Ghanaian received a superb assist from Omar Abdulrahman, a partnership that continues to flourish.
â€œWe understand each other very well,â€ Gyan said. â€œEvery time he gets the ball I know what heâ€™s trying to do, Iâ€™m always ready â€“ itâ€™s not the first time.
â€œThe communication between us is really, really good and what matters is to finish well. When youâ€™re a striker and you get a lot of quality passes like that and you donâ€™t finish, then the work goes unrewarded. So Iâ€™ve got to just do my job.
â€œPersonally Iâ€™m happy to score. Iâ€™m continuing to do it and thatâ€™s a good thing for a striker. The team have helped me so much; I have to thank the players and everybody for their support. I had a great World Cup and Iâ€™m still scoring, so itâ€™s a good thing for me.â€
Gyan also praised the impact of new signings Miroslav Stoch and Lee Myung-joo, who debuted against Ittihad and who each provided telling contributions in midfield.
â€œThey are new in the team and we need to support them,â€ Gyan said. â€œItâ€™s very difficult to adapt to a new league, theyâ€™re coming from different places so we just have to give them time.
â€œBut the players are supporting them, which is the most important thing. They are not 100 per cent, but theyâ€™re getting better.â€