Xavi: All the matches in the league are difficult, our goal is to continue as leaders

Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez spoke of the difficutly of his side’s upcoming QNB Stars League Round 7 game against Umm Salal.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Xavi said: “As you know, in this league, every game is a war. Every game is difficult because everybody works really well.”

“We have now in front of us Umm Salal. If you remember, we lost two points against this team last season. They are a very good team defensively, and with this coach, they play really well, aggressively. I think they will find ways through counter-attacks and transitions.”

He added: “Of course, we are favourites, we are Al-Sadd. But we have to show, as always, our real level on the pitch. I understand that we are in one of our best periods since I became a coach here, so we have to take benefit of that. It’s time to get three points and to continue as leaders. We have to keep going like that because we have a really good squad. We are in a really good moment but we have to keep going in this level.”

Asked about the rotation in the squad, Xavi said: “I’m trying to manage the squad because everybody deserves to play. Everybody will be important, and everybody will get minutes. We have a big squad, and the level is more or less the same. We have very good young players, good foreigners, and we are in a really good moment. We don’t have many injuries; just Bahaa. Now Saad Al Dosari has come back to the team, so it’s a good news for us.”

He continued: “Even without Jung or Nam, we played really well (against Al-Arabi). We can do rotation. We have a bigger squad and I’m trying to manage this situation. I’m happy. I’m happy with all the players because everybody is training really well.”

As for the condition of Saad Al-Dosari: “We dont know exactly, today is his first day in training. I’m really happy for him because he recovered really well.”

“We need everybody: we need Saad, Meshaal Barsham, Jehad Mohammed, Yousuf Al Baloushi; we need all the goalkeepers. It depends on the performance in training. Now, it’s difficult for me to choose the lineup, but everybody is training really well and this is the way to comepete.”

He concluded by saying: “I have to insist: we are in a really good moment, everybody is training well, we need all the players for all the games. We have a really good squad and really good compettion between the players.”