Al Arabi vs Lekhwiya, Round 23 pre-match press conference


Kick off 18:00, March 22nd at the Grand Hamad stadium

Al Arabi head coach José Daniel Carreño
“It will be a difficult game for us. We are playing the leaders of the league. We will try to take the maximum points in the next four matches because we need to improve in the standings. Fortunately for this game we have had a large time to prepare. We will miss some players but we also have some players that are coming back.”
 
“We know the quality that Lekhwiya posses. They are favourites to win the title and they are also playing in the Champions League, so that gives you an idea of what kind of team we're playing.”
 
“We have four absences - Khalid Nawas. Ahmed Fathi, Pauilino and Matei Radoi.”
 
I am happy about the performance of Radoi in defence. We haven't conceded a goal in many games. But unfortunately he won't be available for this game or for the next games this season. He was injured in the last game. I think he will take around 25 days to recover from his injury.”
 
“To see the team improve we need time. We are trying to work in some areas to improve the fitness and mental aspect of the players. I think now we will start to see the results of the work that we have put in.”
 
 

Lekhwiya head coach Michael Laudrup
“The last four weeks we have gone through an intense schedule. Many games in the Asian Champions League and the QSL. In the league, we have put ourselves in a very good position with wins against Sadd and Umm Salal. So now we are in this testing situation with four games to play and a seven-point difference. If we can end this heavy schedule by winning against Arabi then we are almost there.”
 
“Being a big club there's always pressure - whether you are seven points ahead or seven points behind. I think if we look at the table, Sadd has done an incredible job this season. If we look at number 3 and 4, it shows that the top two teams have done a great job this season.”
 
“Qatar has two representatives in the ACL. We are doing our very best. Sadd have done very well in the last two games. We have done well in our last game. So I hope that both teams do well in this competition. We know that Qatari teams need to do better and better in the Champions League so they can reach the same level as Saudi Arabia, Japan, Korea and other strong footballing countries. It's a step by step process. This year it is Sadd and us that needs to prove ourselves on the big stage. Let's hope that in the future that Qatar will have 3-4 teams playing in the Champions League.”
 
“Missing players, we have some but I don't want to reveal everything to the other coach. One hour before the game you will see.”