Al Khor midfielder and captain Naif Al Buriki in an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online
‘What we achieved in the first phase isn’t satisfactory’
‘We couldn’t find harmony under previous coach Laurent Banide'
‘We played without a striker and committed many mistakes’
‘Im sure the club management will soon import a quality striker’
‘Performance and results improved under current coach Nassif Al Bayawi’
‘We won’t get relegated from the top flight’
Al Khor did not have a winning start in this season’s QNB Stars League as they were up against Al Rayyan and lost their opener by a 2-4 margin. They did win their second match, blanking Al Ahli 2-0.
However, the results in the following rounds were not very favourable for them as The Knights suffered under Laurent Banide. The Frenchman was replaced with Tunisian coach Nassif Al Bayawi, who made them a resurgent side to a great extent. He had two wins and as many defeats in his four games in charge of Al Khor.
Al Khor are eighth with 10 points as the tournament reached the halfway mark. They have only three points more than basement side Al Markhiya. And the very prospects of getting involved in the relegation battle may be worrying them.
Is Al Khor’s performance so far satisfactory? Could they’ve done better? What’s the reason for their decline? Will they be involved in the relegation battle?
In an exclusive interview with QSL Online, Al Khor midfielder and captain Naif Al Buriki answered the above questions while speaking about other topics.
“What we achieved in the league’s first phase isn’t satisfactory. Although our performance was good in some matches, the results weren’t satisfying,” said Al Buriki.
“We didn’t have luck in some games and committed mistakes. All that resulted in us losing valuable points. Also, we couldn’t find harmony in the team under Banide although he did his best to make a turnaround right from Round 1, but things went beyond his control.
“After Al Bayawi took charge, our fortunes changed for the better and there was a marked improvement in our performance and results. We’ve been playing without a striker ever since Brazilian David Silva got injured. Cameroonian Julien Jerome came in as his replacement, but was ineffective and fell out of favour with the technical staff. Therefore, we played most of our games without a proper striker and that adversely affected us,” he said.
Al Buriki expressed hope that the club management will soon import a striker who can really deliver the goods.
The medio had his takes on Al Bayawi.
“I’m so glad that the team has regained composure and put up some good displays after Al Bayawi took over from Banide. We won against Qatar SC and strong contenders Al Sailiya. Even though we lost to Al Arabi, we gave Al Sadd a harrowing time before going down fighting,” he said.
But Al Buriki ruled out the possibility of getting relegated.
“Al Khor won’t get relegated to the second division as we can be a much better side in the second phase of the campaign. We’ve enough time to prepare for it during the winter break,” he said.
Al Khor have scored only 12 goals while conceding 21 and that puts a question mark over the defensive abilities of the team.
“We must work more at the rear and strike a right balance between our defence and offence. I’m sure our technical staff will focus more on those areas,” Al Buriki concluded.