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Al Sadd skipper Raul dodges past Al Rayyan’s Hamid Ismail during their Qatar Stars League (QSL) clash last week. Al Rayyan beat Al Sadd 4-1. Al Sadd take visit Al Wakra tomorrow.
DOHA: Star Iraqi striker Younis Mahmood is eager to help Qatar Stars League (QSL) points leaders and his new employers Al Sadd gallop ahead in the title race tomorrow when they visit Al Wakra.
Mahmood signed up for Al Sadd during last month’s transfer window moving away from his former club Al Wakra.
Al Sadd currently lead QSL points race with a tally of 40.
Al Rayyan, who take Al Kharaitiyat today on home soil, are in third place with 36 points.
“The timing of my arrival as Al Sadd has been crucial. Now it is my duty is to help my new team,” Mahmood said yesterday.
“I have the full confidence of my coaches and that has helped me to settle in. I recognize that I have already missed a lot of opportunities but I am sure they will come,” the Iraqi star added.
“The fact I play against my old team is normal in professional football. The most important thing is we don’t lose any more points. I am professional and now I have to give everything for Sadd,” he said.
“All of us know it’s been disappointing to have lost the last two games but we have also played well. I think maybe we just didn’t have a good final ball. I hope we will use our attack to score and get back on track.
“Every team gives everything against Sadd so we will have to be at our best. The destiny of the title is in our hands,” Mahmood - who guided Iraq to the 2007 Asian Cup crown - said
“I was unlucky not to score more against Rayyan. I have been fully determined to score more but it just hasn’t happened yet. This is a positive thing for me,” he said.
Al Sadd coach Hussein Amuta said Al Sadd are fortunate to be at the top despite dropping points in the last two rounds.
“I thought our performances were good in the two games but unfortunately we just could not win,” Amute said.
“We have been lucky that nothing much has changed. We are still top of the league and the destiny of the championship is still in our hands. We do not want to make any more mistakes,” he added.
Al Wakra coach Mehmed Bazdarevic said: “It’s difficult in one week to prepare. There is no real time for recovery but we have tried our best to prepare for the game.” He added: “We are playing Al Sadd now, it’s exciting. The players do not need motivation against a team like this, it takes care of itself. If we let the players recover, then things will be good.In our position, we will have an impact on the teams fighting for the title. That’s why this game is very important for us.”
Bazdarevic admitted his players face challenges of another kind: trying to juggle between professional football and keeping their day jobs.
“We got good results because we had all the players in the camp. The problem is we have some players who are obliged to go to their day jobs at 6am. It’s very important to have a huge number of players to replace injured players,” he said.
“We need good substitutions. We finished fourth place because we had a lot of players,” he said.
“We have to use every advantage we can to help us. It’s up to us to so this in order to fight and be aggressive. We have to ask all the players to give more. I am afraid of the reaction of Al Sadd. They are a very good team and I would expect a big reaction from them after losing two games,” he said. THE PENINSULA