Javi Gracia: Defeating Al-Faisaly is a requirement for us

Al-Sadd coach Javi Gracia confirmed the readiness of his side ahead of the upcoming AFC Champions League clash against Saudi Arabia’s Al-Faisaly, in the second round of the group stage.

Speaking during the pre-match press conference, Gracia said: “Winning will be a requirement for us after the draw in the first round, during which the team lost two two players to red cards – Abdelkarim Hassan and Pedro Miguel.”

The coach added: “We need to make double the effort to win. Our goal is to work hard and as one group in order to get the three points against a good team that plays at home and in front of its fans.”

Regarding the players’ tense emotions in the first match against Nasaf, Gracia said: “The players were nervous because of some of the referee’s decisions. We respect the referees and we will try to compensate for what happened in the first match.”

The Spanish coach continued, “I know Al-Faisaly and I watched their first match against Al-Wehdat, and it is a strong team. We have excellent players who can play in this atmosphere, in front of the fans, and we will work to give our best to win.”

As for his feeling after his first match in the Champions League with Al-Sadd, Gracia said: “I am happy with my first participation with Al-Sadd in the Champions League. This tournament needs VAR, it is a strong tournament that brings together many excellent teams and deserves the VAR technology to achieve justice for all participating teams.”