In-form Al Rayyan wary of Qatar SC backlash
02 Nov 2017 - 1:16
By Fawad Hussain / The Peninsula
Al Rayyan may be riding high on confidence after their win over Al Sadd in Qatar Clasico last week, but Michael Laudrup has warned his ranks of complacency against struggling Qatar SC in their round 7 match at QNB Stars League (QSL) at Al Sadd Stadium tomorrow.
Al Rayyan rose to third position after their 2-1 victory over Al Sadd and Laudrup wants to carry on the winning form against Qatar SC who are reeling on the bottom of the points table with only 3 points.
“It’s true that Qatar SC are at the bottom of the table, but from the competition point of view, this is still an important game for us,” the Dane said in a pre-match press conference yesterday.
“We’ve to continue our good work and sustain the momentum if we’re to give a shot at the title. I mean there’s no room for let-up,” he added before adding that Qatar SC have to potential to stun any side in the league.
“Qatar SC are a good side. Though they lost badly in their last two matches, they were really good against Al Sadd and Al Duhail. They can put up a good fight and will do everything possible to get points, so we’ve to be wary of them.”
Laudrup expressed his satisfaction on performance by the former champions so far in the season.
“I’m pleased with my wards’ performance so far this season. We won five of the six games and also won both matches in the QSL Cup. We had 12 new players in our squad this season, but we straightaway settled into our stride. I’m happy that our games against Al Sadd and Al Duhail are over for the first phase.”
“We’ve a lot of aggressive players and our Under-23 players, such as Ahmed Al Saadi and Sultan Al Kuwari, are doing extremely well. My only concern is that we’ve to improve our game without the ball. Otherwise, we’re playing at a high level,” the Dane said.
Meanwhile, Qatar SC coach Gabriel Calderon admitted his side was having a tough time, hoping to come up with an improved performance.
“I must admit that all matches are difficult for us, as can be understood from our standing in the league table. We’ve only one victory to show for our efforts. In the last three games, we scored only two goals and conceded 11! We’re really struggling to strike a balance in our side,” he said.
“I was entrusted with the task of building up a side capable of fighting in the first division, after we earned our promotion from the second division. It takes time, but I don’t have time. That puts the team in a spot. One of our strikers hasn’t scored a single goal so far. Football is now more about statistics. The players must deliver.”
“We had 13 new players in our side this season. They need time to improve. I’m still hopeful and will try to change the trend. I want our foreign recruits to help the local players. To have a big team, you must’ve a big mentality.”
“Even after six games, we aren’t getting the desired results, so we need to do an overhaul within the squad. I take the responsibility, but it’s time players pulled up their socks,” said the Argentinian.