Xavi: Al-Arabi is a good team, they will have extra motivation against us

Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez has emphasised the difficulty of the upcoming derby game against Al-Arabi in Round 5 of the QNB Stars League.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Xavi said: “The next game will be really tough
If we look at the last games against Al Arabi, it was very tough to win in the Amir Cup final, and also when we came back to win 3-2 in the league, when Santi Cazorla scored in the last minute.”

“It’s a difficult team. We know the coach Younes very well, he is doing a good job. They have nine points. They started the season very well, and they have a good team. This is the truth.”

He added: “They have great foreigner players. They are good in attack, and in defence. Their balance is good.”

“We are talking about a really excellent team so I expect a very difficult game.”

Commenting on the motivation levels ahead of the game, the coach said: “It’s a derby and we are very motivated. For sure Al Arabi will have extra motivation against us as usual. But I know that we are the favourites and we need to show our level as usual on the pitch.”

As for his team’s current form, Xavi said: “We are doing well and I’m happy. This is the truth and we need to continue like that. Of course we need to improve in some aspects because we are conceding goals due to our individual mistakes.”

“But the rest of it is okay. We are creating many chances and we are playing very well. We have been excellent in some periods of the games.”

“Right now I’m happy with the team. Most of them are playing many minutes. I’m happy but we need to continue like that. This is just the beginning.”

Al-Sadd have missed several players due to injuries in the recent period and Xavi spoke about the issue, saying: “We need to get back some players. Maybe Abdelkarim will come back, Saad is coming back; and maybe Santi Cazorla – we need to see how he is.”

“We had many injuries but we still have a big group and hopefully we can get some players back to join the team.”

“This the reality. We are going to play the derby and we are extra motivated, so we need to keep going.”