Doha, Qatar: Al Gharafa can still finish in the last four of the QNB Stars League if they improve their performance up by a few notches, said their Christian Gourcuff on Wednesday.
Gharafa take on Al Ahli on Thursday and the Frenchman was speaking at the pre-match press conference at the Al Bida towers.
“It will not be easy for us against Al Ahli, especially since we are coming off a heavy loss to Al Sadd (1-8) in the last round. Any match is worth only three points maximum, but the big-margin loss was a great shock for us. I hope to achieve a positive result which will help the team make a strong comeback,” said Gourcuff.
“I had said earlier that we were heading for three strong games. We played against Al Sailiya and Sadd, and lost both.
“Ahli are a tough side. They have achieved good results in the recent rounds and are unbeaten in seven matches. Therefore, the confrontation will be difficult and we have to correct our mistakes and be at our best in order to score a victory,” said Gourcuff who will be under heavy pressure.
“I spoke to the players in the aftermath of our defeat to Sadd and tried to instil confidence in them. We also discussed how to make up for that in the game against Al Ahli.
That a host of their key players are nursing injuries will make it more difficult for the Cheetahs.
“Wesley Sneijder, Fahd Al Shammari, Almahdi Ali and Khalid Abdul Raouf are all nursing injuries. However, we still have the chance to reach the top four if we improve our performance by a few notches,” said Gourcuff, who expressed hope that Dutchman Sneijder would be able to play.
In other matches this week, Al Kharaitiyat play Al Rayyan, Al Duhail host Qatar SC, Al Shahania face Al Sadd, Al Khor take on Al Sailiya and Umm Salal meet Al Arabi.