Al Gharafa’s Fahad al-Shammari (right) celebrates the team’s 3-1 win over Al Sailiya with his teammates on Saturday. PICTURE: Anas Khalid

Al Gharafa player Fahad al-Shammari expressed his optimism about the team’s ability to come back strongly during the upcoming period of the Qatar Stars League (QSL).
Speaking to QSL Online, al-Shammari said, “Our team has all that is required to compete but we have lacked luck in some crucial games which made us lose points. Al Gharafa is going through a transition in many positions due to the large number of new players. I believe that when the players achieve harmony, then things will be definitely differently. I have confidence in our capabilities to become one of the top four teams.”
He added, “This is not the first time we have gone through such tough circumstances, but we have succeeded in overcoming them by coming together — players, technical staff and officials.
“Also, we need to improve our concentration during the upcoming rounds of the Qatar Stars League. I believe that our victory over Al Sailiya in the previous round had a positive impact on the team, which also means that we need a second win to give security to the players.
“That’s why we will enter the coming game against Al Kharaitiyat seeking to win. It is a six-pointer for us.”
Al-Shammari also spoke about the termination of Chamusca and his replacement, Diego Aguirre. “Chamusca was not successful enough with the team; we wish him all the best in his future endeavours. I would like to welcome our new head coach Diego Aguirre, who is familiar with Al Gharafa and Qatari football. I believe that he is the appropriate choice for the time being; we will definitely help him to achieve positive results.”
Talking about QSL, he said, “The league is very tough and strong this season with good competitive teams. Al Rayyan have shocked and surprised everyone with their extraordinary performances. Al Rayyan is one of the teams widely expected to win the league title especially in view of the huge win over Qatar SC (9-0).
“Lekhwiya’s decline in performance has also shocked everyone, but I believe they will return to compete as usual. In general the league isn’t settled yet despite Al Rayyan being in the top spot. There is a long way to go with lots of crucial matches. I anticipate that the competition for the top four teams will be exclusively between five teams.”
Commenting on the team’s ambitions, he finished by saying, “Our ambition is to be one of the top four teams as well as winning one title this season. The burden lies on us as players to develop the performances needed so as to improve results.”