Lucas Mendes Exclusive Interview
Al Duhail take on Al Rayyan in a early test of the Red Knights title credentials, in the QNB Stars League match of the week for round three. Both sides have registered two wins in the league, and something may have to give on Friday evening at Al Sadd stadium. Ahead of the game, QSL online had an exclusive interview with Duhail’s summer signing Lucas Mendes to get the defenders thoughts on the encounter.
Opening up the conversation, Mendes stressed that his side will have to be at their very best to come away with all three points against Al Rayyan. “It’s not going to be an easy match, Rayyan have plenty of quality all over the pitch. I feel that the side who commits the least amount of mistakes, particularly in defence will win the match.”
“Tabata has always been a consistent performer for them along with Sebastian Soria and Hamdullah, who I know well from playing with at El Jaish” added the Brazilian defender when asked about Rayyan’s key men heading into the Friday evening match.
Al Rayyan have started the season on fine goalscoring form scoring seven goals from the opening two matches of the season. Mendes stressed that it will the whole team’s responsibility to halt the Rayyan attack. “We will have to defend from the front against Al Rayyan, because so far they have played so well in attack. If our players work hard as a team, we have a great chance of winning the match.”
“I personally don’t think we have a problem in our defence at the moment. We are a new defensive group, and we need time to get it perfect. We have only conceded two goals, and every team in the league has conceded this season” added Mendes, when asked about his sides defensive record this season.
Mendes joined Al Duhail in the summer following the merging of El Jaish and Lekhwiya and the central defender was eager to stress that all is well in the Duhail camp, despite the major upheaval. “The atmosphere is great in the club, everyone has been so welcoming to myself and the other Jaish players. We now are with Duhail and we have to focus on doing our very best in the competitions we are in.”
Mendes ended the interview stressing that the league title is the priority for the newly formed club. “Our target first and foremost is to win the league, and play good football. Then we are looking to do well in the domestic cups and go as far as we can in the AFC Champions league.”