We’re ready to face Al Sadd: Al Arabi coach Hallgrimsson


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Al Arabi coach Heimir Hallgrimsson spoke to the media ahead of their 2019-20 QNB Stars League Week 16 match against Al Sadd.

“Our first-leg match with Al Sadd is not a good memory for us, as we lost it by a big margin, so we have to learn from mistakes in order not to repeat them and come up with a positive result. I think that my team is ready and I am looking forward to see a strong reaction from our players.

“I always say that the preparation for any match is the same regardless of the opponents, but the preparation this time is relatively different because it depends a lot on the players currently available and whom we will depend on. There are players who will be absent because of injuries, but the atmosphere is good and the preparations are strong.

“I understand that we had young players who did not play in many games and they may be worried about facing a top team like Al Sadd. However, I did not notice that in training. We corrected many of our mistakes after the Al Sadd  match, especially in defence. If you had noticed, we did not concede many goals since then and I think the team is moving in the right direction.

“We saw the match between Al Sadd and Umm Salal. We noticed the performance of Umm Salal, who were on par with Al Sadd. Some say Al Sadd did not play well in the first half, while others say Umm Salal were good. Umm Salal’s goals came from set-pieces. Generally, when you face a team like Al Sadd who have great offensive power, the focus must first be on defence.

“I think injured striker Hamdi (Harbaoui) will return to training, but we will miss other players. Musab Khader will be out of action until the end of the season, Ahmed Fathi will be absent for a match and Mohamed Salah El Neel may be out for two more weeks. We need players to lead the team on the field, like (Pierre-Michel Lassoga, and it is an opportunity for young players to show their quality and put up their best,” said Hallgrimsson.

Lassoga said, “I agree with the coach that we should have a strong reaction, after the big margin by which we lost in the first leg. I think we are now better, we have shown it in some of the games and we believe in our ability to achieve a good result.””