Belmadi attributes success to hard work
Hard work. Hard work… That is what Al Duhail coach Djamel Belmadi told QSL Online when asked, amid their coronation ceremony on home turf on Saturday night, about the recipe behind their 2017-18 QNB Stars League triumph.
Al Duhail, maintaining an unbeaten record, clinched their sixth Qatar Stars League title and first after they were formed by merging Lekhwiya with El Jaish. Four of them (2010-11, 2011-12, 2016-17 and 2017-18) came when Belmadi was at the helm. The Red Knights had sealed the title after Week 20 with an unassailable lead.
“Hard work was the secret of our success. Winning the league is a different matter altogether. You can’t win it just like that. You’ve to work harder and stay focused week in, week out and make winning a habit,” said Belmadi.
“We had started strongly preparing for the QNB Stars League in the pre-season with special focus on the fitness aspect of players. At the same time, we made sure they stayed mentally fit as well.
“You got to work on a daily basis for a weekly-once game on an average. You can lift the Qatar Cup by winning two games! What primarily makes the league different is that you’ve to be prepared to win all 22 games,” he said.
The Algerian was extremely delighted with his team’s performance.
“We beat a lot of records, a lot of statistics, which is amazing. It shows how the club works. We won six titles in the last eight years and it is not easy. It’s a lot of hard work from everyone at the club. From the players, the administration, the support staff. So it’s a great achievement,” said Belmadi.
“The most special thing about this triumph is that we did it by being unbeaten. In the AFC Champions League also, we played five games and won all. Our young players are doing very well. So everything is working well for us.
“The only sour note is the injury to Youssef Msakni. He isn’t a striker and for him to score so many goals is amazing. Both Msakni and (Youssef) El Arabi deserved to be the top scorer,” he added.
Tunisian attacking midfielder Msakni emerged as the second-best scorer in the tournament with 25 goals, one less than team-mate and Moroccan striker El Arabi.