Xavi: We have a big match against Al-Sailiya coming up, and we are ready for it

Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez spoke of his side’s readiness ahead of the QNB Stars League Round 2 game against Al-Sailiya, which is set to be played on Monday at the Education City Stadium.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Xavi said: “We have a big game coming up against Al Sailiya, they’re great opponents and they have new players like Thiago and Mohanad Ali up front. We know (Sami) Trabelsi very well, he is a big coach here in Qatar and he’s been doing very well in the last few years. So it will be very tough, very difficult.”

He added: “We are going through a good phase. We are ready to compete as always, and especially now that we have had big performances in the last few games; we haven’t lost in the last 5-6 games.”

“We now need 3 points. Our focus is on the league before the start of the AFC Champions League. It’s very important now that we get these three points.”

Asked about the team’s good performances in their recent games, the coach replied: “The reason everybody is performing well is because we are training really well. Now everybody understands our game model, and our ideas.”

“We have signed really top players like Guilherme and Cazorla, and many young players came back to the team, like Musab, Suhail, Waad, Yusuf and Bahaa. These kinds of players are helping the team a lot. Between the players, there is a lot of good competition, in a good way.”

“Everybody is important in the team and that’s why we have been doing really well, and everybody has had good performances.”

He added: “I’m very happy with the performance but we cannot relax, we have to keep going and continue in this way.”

As for the upcoming AFC Champions League games, Xavi said: “As I told you, now we are first focusing on the Sailiya game. Of course, after this game, we will start thinking about the Champions League. It’s a big opportunity for us, we are playing at home, in our stadium and everybody is excited.”

“The team we have now is, in my opinion, a bit better than the last season. We have a lot of options – young players, top foreign players – and so we have a big chance. We are ready. Of course, it is the Champions League and we know the difficulty of this competition. We will be ready to compete and everybody is excited to play this competition.”