Al Sadd midfielder Ali Assad in an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online
Top QNB Stars League side Al Sadd are gearing up for their Week 15 match against Qatar SC. The Wolves will surely seek to collect full points from the game in order to catch up with leaders Al Duhail, while the rivals badly need some positive results to avoid relegation.
In an exclusive interview with QSL Online ahead of the Qatar SC match, midfielder Ali Assad, one of the key players of Al Sadd, spoke about various topics. The following are the excerpts.
What’s your assessment of Al Sadd’s league campaign this season?
So far so good as we had won the season-opening Sheikh Jassim Cup. We’re competing hard in the QNB Stars League and want to fare well in the cup competitions and also AFC Champions League.
What’re the difficulties and challenges your team faced in the league that made you lose some points?
We faced several difficulties such as injuries and they affected us negatively during the first phase.
How do you see the competition between Al Sadd, Al Rayyan and Al Duhail in the coming rounds?
The competition between these three teams will be intense. We had lost to both Al Duhail and Al Rayyan in the first phase, so we’ll seek to compensate for that in the coming weeks.
Your ambition with Al Sadd is the league title… Is it still on or are Al Duhail closer to it now?
Of course, our ambitions for the league title are still on. We’ve been longing for it since 2012-13.
What’s your take on game against Qatar SC?
It’ll be a tough game and we’ve to be cautious not to miss any points and keep closing in on the top spot.
Which team is favourite to bag full points?
Al Sadd are always looking for victories and we’ll do our best to achieve it against Qatar SC.
Al Sadd start as the favourites. Does that put extra pressure on you?
I believe Al Sadd players are experienced enough and that should help us win.
Do you think the absence of injured striker Baghdad Bounedjah had a negative impact on your league campaign?
Indeed. His absence adversely affected the team in the first phase. He’s a unique striker and fierce scorer. However, coach (Jesualdo Ferreira) succeeded in making up for it to a large extent.
Al Sadd are coming off huge wins over Al Sailiya and Al Gharafa. Do you expect more such victories?
I hope so… Our main aim is three points from every game, not the number of goals.
In the wake of winter signings completed by Qatar SC, do you expect stronger opposition than in the first phase?
There’s no doubt that it’ll be different from the first phase, so we’ve to be careful and more focused.
What’s your message to the club’s management and fans?
We promise them that we’ll put our best efforts to compete for the league title and do well in the AFC Champions League.
What’s your target with Al Sadd?
My main ambition is to win the QNB Stars League title again with Al Sadd, which I had already done in 2013.
Finally, is the league this season quite different from the previous ones?
Yes. Of course. Especially after the decision to reduce the number of QNB Stars League teams this season, the competition became fiercer as losing any game is considered a big handicap.