Al-Sadd assistant coach David Prats expressed his delight with the return of the QNB Stars League in Week 18, after the break forced by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Al-Khor, Prats said: “We are happy to restart the competition because we need this adrenaline of the league. We are going through a good phase, the players are training well and we are motivated at the resumption of the league.”
As for the game, he remarked: “We will have a tough game against Al-Khor. They are a good and organised team. You can see, in the first game we played against them, we won with some difficulties. For sure, we need to be at our best level in order to win. They are a strong team and have very good players, especially in attack, like Thiago, Lucca and Hammoudan.”
He added: “We need to be at our best because we need to win and improve our position in the table.”
Regarding the break in the competition due to COVID-19, Prats said: “We know that this was a long and difficult period for everybody, especially for the players who need football, but we think the players are ready because they are really motivated. The most important thing in football is the passion.”
“I think the players did a good job during the time we stopped due to the coronavirus. They trained alone at home and came back in their best levels. I know that it’s not the best condition to play but for sure, the team will improve. We are ready to compete in the first game because they are showing us in training that they are improving every day. This is the way: we have to continue like this in the game against Al-Khor.”
As for playing without two foreigners, the assistant coach said: “Yes, we lost two important foreign players – Gabi and Marco Fabian – but we are sure the players that will replace them will come up with a really good performance.”
“For us, it was a pity, especially with Gabi, who spent two season with us. He was a very good player, very important for the team, and he was a leader. But we have to adapt to the situation, and for sure, the players who replace them will give their best performance.”
Tarek Salman: Excited to return
Meanwhile, Tarek Salman spoke of the team’s readiness ahead of the game against Al-Khor, and also described the excitement of the players with the resumption of the league.
Speaking at the press conference, he said: “We are excited to return, with the resumption of league matches. We have a difficult game coming up against Al-Khor, we played against them in the first phase and won only in the last moments.”
“All the players are in a good condition and we look to get victories and make our fans happy.”
Tarek added: “We had more positives than negatives at Al-Sadd during this period. The injured players like Hassan Al-Haydos, myself, and Pedro were able to return, as well as Baghdad Bounedjah, who had a surgery. All of this is a positive for the team. We have tried to work and train individually in a tough situation, and now everyone is excited to return and play football again. I hope we can satisfy everyone and always give our best.”