Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez stressed on the importance of the next match against Al-Gharafa in the quarter-finals of the Amir Cup 2021, describing it as “a final”.
Speaking during the pre-match press conference: “We have to change our mentality after winning the Qatar Cup, we are living through moments of celebration and we have to move from this stage. In my view Al Gharafa is one of the best teams currently in Qatar and they have become a lot better with their coach Slavisa Jokanovic.”
The coach added: “Our clash with Al-Gharafa is a final, and we have to focus more and continue on our path.”
Xavi also said: “My message to the players now is that we should not be inactive or lazy. An important match awaits us, we have to come out of this atmosphere. It is good that the victories continue, but we have to be aware of the importance of the next match.”
He continued: “We had a beautiful experience in the Amir Cup final last year, it was one of the most beautiful matches we played. The stadium was wonderful and the pitch was wonderful. We have to continue on our journey to be in the final again.”
Xavi also indicated that it is small details decide such matches, and said: “The small details are very important so that we do not lose the game in one moment. Everyone works for the team and these are important aspects for us. We must continue to be always in our competitive position to increase our focus and achieve what we are looking for.”
Regarding Akram Afif’s return to the team, Xavi said: “Akram Afif is one of the best players and we missed him because he has the ability to make the difference for the team. We won the Qatar Cup, but that does not mean that we did not miss Akram Afif.”
Finally, Xavi concluded with a remark on the squad: “We have not yet decided the squad in which we will face Al Gharafa. We will work hard in training to go into the game with complete focus and spirit in order to get the win.”