Neill on bus prank: Wasl deserved to walk home after Dibba defeat
Lucas Neill's own transport plans may have been unaffected by the mystery of the missing bus keys on Sunday night, but the Al Wasl defender believes it is the fans reponsible - not the players left stranded - who deserve an apology.
As Sport360° reported on Monday, Wasl players, staff and officials were forced to share a lift back to Dubai with opponents Dibba Fujairah after fans stole the keys to their own team bus following a dismal 2-1 defeat.
Wasl supporters had made the trip down to Al Ain fully expecting to see their side pick up maximum points against a Dibba side that had failed to win any of their first seven games back in the UAE top-flight.
But the minnows - promoted last season after a second place finish in Division - had other ideas and ran out deserved winners to hand Guy Lacombe his first defeat since taking up the Wasl managerial hotseat last month.
Claiming the players were not fit to wear the club crest, irate Wasl fans vented their frustration by pinching their side's bus keys meaning chastened Wasl players were forced to hitch a ride with their jubilant opponents.
Except for Neill that is. As the Australian still currently lives in Abu Dhabi - making the daily commute to Dubai for training and matches - the veteran defender was given permission to head back to the UAE capital separately.
"Did we? I dunno. I had my family drive me home," said Neill when quizzed about the incident before adding: "Brilliant news for me then that I managed to get a lift!"
All joking aside, Neill insists he understands the supporters frustrations after another disappointing showing from their side, and candidly admitted he too felt "livid" with the result.
Admitting the result fell "well below" the high standards that he sets himself, Neill also felt obliged to apologise to the fans who had made the trip to the Garden City only to witness an abject display.
"It's the first time I've ever heard of a rection from fans like that," he told Sport360°. [An] interesting reaction. Comical but at the same time there is a serious side to it.
"Our performance and the fact we walked away with a loss is unacceptable. It's why we have to apologise to the supporters," Neill added.
"To be quite honest, they came down in good numbers expecting us to win and they cheered us on to win, and we didn't so you can understand their frustration.
"I just hope the bus is alright as we'll need it again soon!"