Doha: Al Gharafa coach Christian Gourcuff hopes his side would be able to build on their morale-boosting victory against Al Arabi when they take on Al Rayyan in a crucial match on Saturday.
Gharafa, missing key players including their captain Wesley Sneijder, put up a strong show against Arabi to end their three-match losing streak and Gourcuff knows they would be back to square one if they fail to produce a positive result against Rayyan.
“We are eager to build on our victory over Arabi in the last round. We were without a number of our players during the break. Yet, we will try to win,” said the Frenchman.
“We know that the game is important and we are looking for a positive result. The game is derby and we know its importance and value. It is crucial for us to put up a consistent performance throughout the game.
Gourcuff said his team should retain their focus and concentration throughout the match.
Our problem is that we do not stay concentrated throughout. The injuries also add to our woes and that is adversely affecting our performance. (Wesley) Sneijder has begun training with the rest of the players as he is recovering from an injury.
“We will wait until the last moment before taking a decision on whether to field Schneider or not. Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi is proving his worth.
“We were so unhappy over a series of negative results we have had and were under pressure to achieve positive results,” said Gourcuff.
Rayyan, meanwhile, are themselves under tremendous pressure and new coach Bulent Uygun, who replaced Argentinian Rodolfo Arruabarrena last week, would be keen to start with a victory.
That the Turk has coached Gharafa in the second half of last season and led them to a fourth-place finish adds extra spice to the clash of two of the traditional powerhouses of Qatari football.