Former champions Al Gharafa will look to the future instead of dwelling on disappointing past results, new coach Pedro Caixinha said during the pre-match press conference.
Al Gharafa roped in Caixinha recently to make an impression in the second phase of Qatar Stars League.
Bottom-placed Mesaimeer are the rivals for 10th-placed Al Gharafa on Saturday at Al Wakrah Stadium.
“We know that what belongs to the past stays in the past. We are not worried about the past. We start a new cycle now. And the best possible way will be to start with getting three points,” Caixinha said at his maiden press conference.
“We are focussed on our team. We have started working yesterday and we believe in the quality of our players. We believe in the history and philosophy of our club and hope that the team will play with confidence and to the potential that we posses and do everything to get the three points so that we can start this phase well,”Caixinha said.
“Doing an analysis of our opponent is one of the tests that we do before every match. But right now we are focussing only on our team.
We need to know our opponent and we will do some research today and tomorrow but for the moment we are focussing on our identity and our style of play rather than the opponents,” Caixinha said.
Caixinha said he is not new to the region. “I believe in having a strong relationship between the top and the bottom. I have worked in this region before and Al Gharafa is a team that everybody always speaks about. So we are talking about a big club. Let’s however not dwell on the past,” Caixinha said.
“Football is all about being in the moment. And we want to start with confidence. That’s the first step. The team has the potential and the will to change the course of events. And we believe that we will express that on the pitch.
“I totally trust in the structure of the club. I believe in the management. This is a game where the players take centre stage. They are the main actors in this act. I believe in their work and I do believe in my work too which is the main connection.
“This is the start of a new cycle for the team. I am looking at our season having just 12 matches. This means that we are playing for a championship with just 36 points on offer. And the main challenge for us is to finish in the top 4 within such a small time. That is our target,” Caixinha said.
“I fully trust the players. I have the same belief in them as they have in me,” he added.
OPEN MATCH FOR MESAIMEER
Mesaimeer coach Rodion Gacanin sees similarity between his side and that of Al Gharafa.
“Both teams are not in the best of situations currently. Al Gharafa were aiming for the top. We wanted 6-7 points more than what we have.
So both teams expected a better first half of the season,” Gacanin said on Thursday.
“We have five players who are out with injuries. But in last few days, during the training sessions, I have seen that we have a good atmosphere and players are working hard,” Gacanin said.
“We had many players who were playing for the first time in QSL. But now after five months I believe that the players are now physically and mentally competitive. We will look to play an open match and we will look to find more points.
“In this match, the team that controls the midfield will win the match. I can see my players giving their maximum during training. I feel a good energy in my team.
“During the break we will be looking to bring in more local players.
We are also looking for one professional player,” he said. Now to see what happens in the match today.
Al Gharafa’s new coach Pedro Caixinha during the press conference. (Right) Mesaimeer coach Rodion Gacanin. PICTURES: Othman Iraqi