Al Gharafa wary of wounded Al Kharaitiyat
19 Oct 2017 - 10:13
Fawad Hussain | The Peninsula
Al Gharafa will walk into Al Khor Stadium as firm favourites against Al Kharaitiyat as the two sides meet in their QNB Stars League (QSL) clash today, but coach Jean Fernandez has warned his Cheetahs against complacency, telling them to fire on all cylinders in the ‘important game’.
Al Gharafa will go into the game full of confidence after their impressive win against Al Khor in the previous round while The Thunders, who lost to Al Sailiya in fourth round, will be hoping for reverse in fortunes.
Fernandez’s side are currently sixth in the standings with five points while Al Kharaitiyat are struggling at 10th with only one point.
But Al Gharafa coach feels a better performance than Al Kharaitiyat in the new season will count for nothing in today’s match.
“We’ve had good preparations for this game as there’s no room for complacency,” said Fernandez at a pre-match press conference yesterday.
“All matches are important in the QSL. We respect Al Kharaitiyat. They’ve a good coach and players, who can make a turnaround. They’ve the ability to score goals. The results aren’t a fair reflection on their game,” the Al Gharafa coach said before expecting a tough game.
“It took us for a while to get our first win. Now that it has happened, we’ll be more stronger as the league progresses. We adopt strategies for each game and I hope to field the best possible eleven. Al Kharaitiyat are sure to desperately look for a win, so we expect a tough game. They’re good at ball possession.”
Al Kharaitiyat coach Ahmad Al Ajlani said he was working mainly on his players’ lack of concentration on the pitch.
“That was more evident during our last match against Al Sailiya, which we lost even after taking the lead. It’s time my players put an end to it, especially since we’ve managed to earn only one point so far,” said Al Ajlani.
“We’ve lost some games because of this factor. Also, I want my wards to regain their fighting spirit. In football, tactics succeed only when players implement them on the field of play.
“We know Al Gharafa are on a high after their first victory. We’re working harder to get some positive results and go up the standings. We’re not showing the fighting qualities during training sessions when it comes to real action.
“There’s no point in repeating the mistakes. We’ve have repeating them in our last two league matches. We could’ve won the game over Al Khor, but conceded a goal towards the end.
“Our club president Sheikh Khalifa’s presence at training sessions really motivates our players. We hope to have good luck in the coming games,” the Tunisian coach said.
The game will kick off at 7:35pm.