EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Al Khor to sign four new players ahead of second phase


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Al Khor coach Nassif Al Bayawi revealed that they were keen to sign four new players in the winter transfer window in a bid to strengthen the side ahead of the QNB Stars League’s second phase, which will start on 11th January.

In an exclusive interview with QSL Online during their training camp (20th to 28th December) at the Aspire Zone, Al Bayawi said they were looking to sign one foreign striker and three Qatari players.

“I’m sure almost all teams will change players in the January transfer window ahead of the second and final phase of the league. And we’ll be no different. In fact, we badly need to sign some players. We suffered in the first phase due to a lack of a regular striker and a right-back. The makeshift arrangements proved costly for us on many occasions,” said Al Bayawi.

“The league’s second phase will be really tougher. We’ll almost be playing non-stop i.e. week in and week out. We’ve to be well-equipped to meet the challenges, especially when we’re looking to compensate for the lost points. We’re more keen on making a turnaround in our fortunes.

“I hope the signings happen sooner rather than later. Our priority will be to help the new group of players gel well in quick time. I’m sure my wards will be game for the big tasks on hand,” he said.

The Tunisian dwelled on the positives from their training camp at Aspire.

“We’ve had amazing conditions, excellent facilities and a quiet hotel (Torch Doha) to stay. Any coach would like to have such conditions to mould his players. We trained morning and evening every day. The morning session started at 9.30 and evening practice at 6. We also had two open sessions at the Al Gharafa ground.

“My medical staff did an excellent job and, thank God, we’ve no injury worries. The players are all geared up for the challenges and we hope to be on the right track,” said Al Bayawi.

Al Khor are in the eighth position with 10 points after the first phase of the league campaign. The Knights registered three wins and one draw, but suffered seven defeats. They even lost to promoted side Al Markhiya, but came good against Al Sailiya and went down fighting to Al Sadd at the refurbished Khalifa International Stadium before imploding against Al Arabi in the last round.

“It’s true that we’ve scored only 12 goals and conceded 21 from 11 games, but I could manage the side in only four matches after replacing (Laurent) Banide. The camp at Aspire has helped the players mentally and physically, and we hope to take it to our advantage in the remaining part of the season,” he concluded.

Al Khor are scheduled to play friendlies against Qatar SC on 28th December and Umm Salal on 5th January. Another friendly against the Tunisian national team, which will camp in Doha, is also lined up, but it has yet to be confirmed.

Al Khor will take on Al Rayyan at the Al Sadd Stadium on Saturday, 13th January, in the 12th round of QNB Stars League.