Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez described the upcoming QNB Stars League Round 2 as a “really tough” game, and emphasised the need for his side to be focused.
Speaking at the pre-match pressc conference, Xavi said: “Our next game against Qatar Club will be very difficult. They did very well when we played last season, when we drew with them at their stadium.”
“So I expect a really tough match and we have to be ready and focused. We have to recover and prepare well for this match.”
He added: “Every match will be difficult this season, as everybody has signed with good players, especially Qatar SC, who have signed Javi Martinez and Djamel Benlamri, and they already have Belaili.”
“We are talking about really good players that can make the difference.”
As for his team, the coach remarked: “We started really well against Al-Sailiya and we need to keep going like that.”
“We have a problem because we are playing without air-conditioning and the players told me it’s very difficult to play. But we need to adapt to the conditions, because it will not change.”
He went on to say: “We play a game every 3-4 days until October and we need the players to recover, and we need to do rotation. It’s really tough. I remember when I was playing in these conditions, it was very difficult to have a good performance throughout the 90 minutes.”
“We did really well in the first half of the last game and then of course, it was really difficult to play after that, but we need to adapt and continue playing well.”
Asked about the congested list of fixtures, Xavi replied: “The calendar is like that. We cannot change the schedule and we need to adapt. This is the main problem that we have, but at the same time, we have a bigger squad and many players that we can rotate.
“In the last game, Pedro was given a rest, and Musaab came in and did really well. Ali Asad, Mohammed Waad, Yousuf Abdurazaq – all of them did really well. We have a big squad and we have no excuse.
Xavi concluded by saying: “We need to win every game. We are the favourites to win the league title again. There is no excuse. We have a big squad to prepare well and to win any game.”