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Juanma: Our players have been training hard, we have an important game coming up

Al-Sadd head coach Juanma Lillo spoke of the importance of the upcoming QNB Stars League Round 1 game against Al-Markhiya, which is set to be played on Monday at Khalifa International Stadium.

Speaking ahead of the season opener at the pre-match press conference, Juanma said: “The training camp in Austria has been very good, allowing us to know the players. Now we have the first official game coming up and it is important for us, because it will be beneficial to know more about the competition.”

Asked about the opponent, the coach said: “We have watched some matches of Al-Markhiya from last season, and we have also watched some of their preseason matches too but perhaps this is not very important information.”

He added: “However, they have kept almost the same team and the same coach, with the same philosophy so this is good.”

As for the absence of Qatari internationals and its effect on the team, Juanma said: “In my first press conference at the presentation, I said this could be an opportunity. We can look at it as a problem but we can also look at it as an opportunity.”

“We don’t have many players but we have the opportunity to give playing time to the players who we have with us now, and they have all been doing well, in the training camp during the preparatory phase of the season.”

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