By Sports Reporter
Al Rayyan coach Jorge Fossati has said Al Kharaitiyat will be a tough nut to crack, ahead of their today’s Qatar Stars League game.
Rayyan, who were promoted to Qatar’s top flight this season, had got their campaign off to a winning start last week with a comprehensive 4-o win over Al Sailiya.
Now Fossati expects to build on the opening success but he knows that it wont’s easy against Kharaitiyat, who have a habit of causing upsets. In fact, Kharaitiyat had stunned Qatar Sports Club 2-1 in their first game.
“As always we consider that it will be a very tough game,” said Fossati on the match eve. “Kharaitiyat have shown their quality when they beat one of the top four teams last week. So we are aware that we need to play in the same way that we did against Sailiya or better, because we have a very difficult opponent,” the Uruguayan added.
Despite the good start to their QSL season, Fossati wasn’t too pleased with his team’s performance. “So far we have played just one out of the 26 games. So while we have got a good start, it’s not something that we can be extraordinarily happy about. After that game I wasn’t completely satisfied. I am always looking for details to improve. It was like that against Sailiya. For us, this game is the most important game of the season and it’s like that for every game,” he said.
The head coach said Spanish forward Sergio Garcia has recovered from an injury but wasn’t sure he will take the field today.
“Garcia is improving. Yesterday he was part of training. We will evaluate him today. I have the okay from the medical team but we will check again closer to the match itself. If it’s a big risk, we prefer to not play him and wait for the next game. He’s a very important player for us but we cannot take a risk with him,” Fossati said.
Meanwhile, Kharaitiyat coach Amar Osim said Rayyan will be a tougher opponent than Qatar SC, with them also boasting the largest fan following in Qatar. “It’s always good to have three points from the first game especially when your next game is against Rayyan, which is going to be quite a different game.
"Because it’s going to one of those games with a bit more spectators than usual. And this fact can change the way you prepare and feel during the game. Rayyan’s style is to put pressure on the opponents and there’s pressure from the spectators too,” he said.
Even though Rayyan were relegated in 2014 and had to win the second division title to gain promotion to the top flight this season, Osim said they were quite clearly one of the top teams in Qatar.
“Rayyan has come from the second division which is a big achievement, and they have an ambition to do well. Rayyan is a new team. It’s a team that came from the second division but that is not really correct because they are not a second division team by the quality of their players. So do we play a second division team or do we play Rayyan, one of biggest teams in Qatar? The reality I believe is somewhere in between,” he said.
By Sports Reporter