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Faria rues players' absence as Al Duhail face Al Arabi today.

Tribune News Network Doha After a hard fought victory over Qatar Sports Club in the opening week of the 2019/20 QNB Stars League, Al Duhail coach Rui Faria says the Red Knights need to take their opportunities in coming games. The Portuguese who is preparing his team for their game on Thursday against Al Arabi at the Al Janoub Stadium, also rued the absence of some top players due to suspension and injuries. Al Duhail suffered both physically and mentally against QSC, having endured a gruelling schedule against Al Sadd in which they played three matches in 11 days. "We face a tough task against a team that is well organised and has technical staff capable of doing a great job. They've players who can quickly reach the opponents' goal. We'll focus on what we can do on the pitch," said Faria. "The absence of some key players will affect any team and that's what happened to us in our game against Qatar SC. The emergence of new players is definitely a positive sign, but that alone won't compensate for seniors' absence. We made good efforts and put up a strong performance. I was satisfied with the performance, but if we were able to score goals from the opportunities that we had, there would've been another scenario," he added. Faria, who took over the club in January, won the Amir Cup back in May for his first title as head coach after spending 17 years as Jose Mourinho's apprentice. The 44-year-old also had some words of encouragement for Iraqi striker Mohanad Ali who has come under criticism for his lack of goals since his move to the club. "Regarding striker Muhanad Ali, I would say that he's under pressure, especially because he's in media focus. He needs more time to adapt. He works well in training and I know he'll soon settle into his stride," said Faria. Meanwhile Al Arabi enjoyed a convincing 3-1 win over Al Ahli last weekend. Former Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson, has been tasked with taking the Dream Team back into the top tier in the league. "Our preparations were normal. The team is preparing for the entire season, not just for one game. I'm very happy with my players' performance in the pre-season and also during our victory against Al Ahli in the first week. "Al Duhail consist of outstanding players even though they didn't start well this season. It's going to be difficult challenge. For us, the most important thing is not to make mistakes that cause losses," Hallgrimsson said. Al Wakrah vs Qatar Sports Club In the early kickoff on Thursday, Al Wakrah will host QSC at the Al Sadd Stadium with both teams looking to bounce back after opening day defeats. Al Wakrah lost to current champions Al Sadd but coach Marquez Lopez says it could be the beginning of victories for the Waves. "We'll work hard to beat Qatar SC. I wish it would be the beginning of victories after our loss to Al Sadd in the first game. Against Al Sadd, we played with 10 players from the 16th minute. Since then, some weaknesses appeared in our defence. We worked on them in between," the Barcelona-born coach said. For QSC, a last minute Almoez Ali strike denied Carlos Alos's men a famous win over their illustrous opponents Al Duhail. "Our problem was lack of focus, we've to win points against Al Wakrah. We know that it'll be a difficult game. Al Wakrah are a good team regardless of their loss in the first match to Al Sadd. "Our loss to Al Duhail was sad because the goals came from a lack of focus in the last minutes. I told the players we should focus on the game from the beginning till the last. I'm happy with the performance because players did what I asked them, but lack of focus cost us dear. That saddened me," the Spaniard lamented.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Aug 29, 2019
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