Sailiya coach Sami Trabelsi (top) is hoping that his boys can nullify the advantage of Khor’s Brazilian strikers like Madson Cardade (top right) when the teams play today.
By Sports Reporter/Doha
Buoyed by their shocked win over Al Sadd on Friday, Al Sailiya feel they can nail another rival when they take on Al Khor at Al Gharafa Stadium today.
Sailiya stunned giants Sadd in a Round 11 clash and coach Sami Trabelsi is seeking another ‘big-hearted’ performance. “We are happy with the result against Al Sadd but we are also happy with the motivation and the big heart that the players played with,” Trabelsi said yesterday.
“They did really well in the last game and proved that when we concentrate, apply ourselves and play with heart then we can beat the best teams. We don’t have big players like Al Sadd but we have players with big hearts,” he added.
Ninth-placed Al Sailiya are seeking their third consecutive win following an earlier victory against Qatar SC a little over a week ago. “Al Khor showed good performance in the last game. They haven’t won a lot but they haven’t lost too much either. They play compact. I hope that we build on the last result and do well in this game too,” the Tunisian said.
Trabelsi said that their morale-boosting victory over Sadd was down to the fact that they didn’t allow Sadd players too much time on the ball. “We know that there are many keys players for Sadd - Xavi, Haydous, Belhadj, Khalfan etc. who are great, skill-wise and tactically. When they are attacking, they can generate a great last pass that could cost us heavily. We tried to push our players up and make it difficult for Al Sadd to create moves. And that helped us in this game,” he said.
Khor coach Jean Fernandez said that facing a buoyant Sailiya would be a tough proposition. “We are playing Al Sailiya who are coming from two big, confidence-boosting wins. I saw the game against Al Sadd. I was impressed with the way Al Sailiya played. It was big game and a big result for them,” Fernandez said.
“They will be highly motivated to continue their good run against us and I am expecting a very difficult game,” he added.
The Frenchman was happy with his team’s improvement in the goal-scoring department. “At the beginning of the season we had a problem in the balance of the team which is why we didn’t score too many goals. But in the last few games we have scored an average of two goals in each of them. That means that my attack line is now doing better,” he explained.
WAKRAH SEEK REVIVAL
In the second match of the day, Al Wakrah will be seeking a return to winning ways when they take on Al Kharaitiyat. Last week, 11th-placed Wakrah were hammered 6-2 by defending champions Lekhwiya in a loss that left coach Jose Mauricio urging a quick return to form.
“We have to forget quickly the last defeat against Lekhwiya and play this game with full concentration,” Mauricio said yesterday. “It’s difficult to come back with motivation after a large defeat. It was a shock for us. Our performance wasn’t as good as we expected. But we will look to bounce back in this match,” the coach added.
“I think it was bad to concede these kind of goals. We are used to being a strong team, one that defends well and we want to go back to being that team. Hopefully we will show that in this match,” said the Uruguayan.
Kharaitiyat coach Amar Osim was worried about the recovery of his players considering the short gap between the games. “It’s a funny situation for us. We didn’t plan to play with such a short gap between game,” Osim said yesterday.
“Al Wakrah have the same problem so it’s not an advantage for either team. But as a coach it’s not easy to prepare the team, knowing the capacity of the players to recover,” Osim said.
“Tomorrow the focus will be on how we can get the players to recover, more than how they will play. Recovery of the players will be the most important factor in the game,” he added.
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