Al-Habsi to miss Gulf Cup

23 November 2010 12:47
Wigan Athletic goalkeeper, Ali Al-Habsi is to miss the Gulf Cup for his national team, Oman, in a bid to help the Latics pick up some much need points. Al-Habsi is on loan from Bolton Wanderers, and in the past has been able to play in the Gulf Cup as he has been number two behind Jussi Jaaskelainen. However after his impressive form in a Wigan Athletic shirt, the goalkeeper is much needed at the DW Stadium as the club push for points over the Christmas period. Speaking to the Wigan Evening Post, Al-Habsi said: “To be honest, my mind and heart is over there with my country, and I wish them all the best. “It is a big competition, with millions of people watching on TV. But I have made my decision and I want to concentrate all my attention on Wigan, because this is my team now. “It would have been hard to fly back home for the tournament and then come back here and hope to keep my place. I’ll have to make do with watching on TV, but hopefully Oman can do well without me – and we are the reigning champions. “As soon as I have finished training I’ll be straight off home to watch the games and cheer them on. I’m not just doing it for myself, I’m doing it for my country – because it’s a big thing for me to be playing regularly in the Premier League. “Hopefully I can continue doing well here and Oman can win the Gulf Cup without me. That would be the dream for me. “And I’m confident they can win it because the squad is full of good players. But it’s a very tough competition to win, I promise you.” The 28 year old has been voted the best goalkeeper at the past four Gulf Cups but it is perhaps a sign of his commitment to the Latics that Al-Habsi has opted to put the Latics first. Meanwhile, former Latics goalkeeper, Richard Kingson, now with Blackpool, has been speaking about his forthcoming chance to shine. The Tangerines have lost first choice goalkeeper Matthew Gilks for a number of months due to injury, and Kingson is set to get more action. The Ghana goalkeeper played in the weekend's victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers. He said: “As a goalkeeper or a player, if you get more playing time, you feel more comfortable or you improve yourself. “It’s has been a difficult time for me but so far as I know what’s football, I’m okay with that. When your time never comes, you can’t write yourself out but if you believe in yourself you know that one day your time will come and when your time comes, you grab it and use it well.” CLICK HERE FOR THE MESSAGEBOARD