Javi Gracia: We are ready to face Umm Salal

Al-Sadd head coach Javi Gracia has stressed the difficulty of the upcoming game against Umm Salal, in Round 18 of the QNB Stars League.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Gracia said: “I think Umm Salal is a good team. You can see from their stats they only lost four games. They don’t concede many goals, and don’t allow many chances. They have a very good balance in their team.”

He added: “We are ready to compete after the recent game, which was very tough, playing for a long time with ten players. Now, in this moment, we are focused on the recovery of the players and then, we’ll be ready to compete again.”

Giving further insight on the last game against Al-Gharafa, the coach said: “I think it was a massive game for us, because it’s not easy to play with ten men and to score four goals and to dominate the game like we did.”

“This is really good for the players. I think they showed their best face by defending when they have to defend, and attacking when we have the chance to do it. As I said, scoring four goals is not easy against a very good team like Al-Gharafa.”

Asked about the upcoming schedule of games for his side, Gracia remarked: “I think now we are entering a very busy schedule. We have to play five more games in February, and then, we may have to play six games in March if we reach the Amir Cup final.”

“It is a busy schedule but we have to be ready to compete and recover. We don’t have time to train, but only to rest and prepare for the next game. We know that and we are ready for that. I hope everything will be alright.”