Al-Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez spoke to the media on Monday at the pre-match press conference ahead of the AFC Champions League semifinal first leg against Al-Hilal.
“We have prepared well for this game. We know how strong Al Hilal are, they are one of the best teams in the continent,” said the coach.
“The support of the fans is very important, like it was in the game against Al-Nassr when all the Qatari supporters helped us get the win.”
“We learned a lot from last year’s semifinal against Persepolis. Things are different when you’re a player and when you’re a coach. We will try to win this game, maintaining our identity as a team with a winning mentality.”
Commenting on the pressure faced by the team, Xavi said: “It’s natural to feel the pressure. I feel the pressure when we’re playing in Qatar or abroad, but we always play for the win.”
Asked about Pedro’s absence, he said: “Pedro is an important player but we have (other) excellent players too at Al-Sadd and they’re capable of making up for his absence. I am happy with all the players who are here.”
As for the chance of playing Liverpool at the Club World Cup, Xavi said: “We hope to play against a big team like Liverpool. That would mean we have to reach the semifinals. If we win AFC Champions League, we will be in the quarters. Even if we face Liverpool, we won’t change our style of play.”