UAE players told to retain focus

Omar Abdulrahman is UAE's bet player (AAP)

United Arab Emirates players have been ordered to ignore the lure of the AFC Asian Cup finals when they meet unfancied Bahrain on Thursday.

 UAE can seal its slot in the quarter-finals with a win in Canberra - the same scenario presented to Iran in the Sydney fixture against Qatar.

Both UAE and Iran won their opening Group C encounters and enter the matches as hot favourites but UAE coach Mahdi Ali has forbidden talk of the finals among his players.

"We don't want to speak about quarter-final or semi-final or whatever," Ali said.

"We have an important game and we would like to focus on that."

The UAE manager however did issue an ominous warning about the form of his star Omar Abdulrahman.

The playmaker was the catalyst of the tournament-opening 4-1 belting of Qatar and Ali predicted Abdulrahman would only improve as he continued his return to national duties after a two-month injury layoff.

"Omar is a talented player and one of the main players in the team, I am very happy for him playing a full 90 minutes," Ali said.

"He will play even better because he had a game three days ago.

"Of course, for him to do his best and show all his quality and ability he needs support from the team.

"He did very well in the last game because all the team did our best, that is why he was very good."

In Sydney, Iran can advance into the finals by downing the struggling Qataris but coach Carlos Queiroz remains uneasy.

"We know they had a bad result but bad results don't show that a team is bad, just like a good result doesn't show a team is good," he said.

"Their game was one of those games. It's a result that happens."

Iran entered the cup as the top-ranked Asian team and showed convincing form in the 2-0 opening victory against Bahrain.

Source AAP