Al Gharafa coach Slavisa Jokanovic spoke to the media ahead of their 2020-21 season QNB Stars League Week 11 match against Umm Salal.

“If we perform with the same focus and the players show the same spirit as in the previous matches, our chances of beating Umm Salal will be great. I admit that we are facing a team distinguished by good organisation, especially in defence. They will definitely rely on counter-attacks and that requires our team to show utmost concentration.

“We played the past matches more confidently and more coherently, and there began more harmony in our ranks, which created mutual trust among the players. Each of them is ready and able to cover the mistakes of a team-mate during the matches. The team has a great desire to achieve victories. Even when we were stung by deficit, the players believed in their ability to win and those are the most important steps we took in order to be stronger.

“The next match will witness the likely return of Ahmed Alaaeldin. Regarding Muaed Hassan, we may witness his return against Qatar SC (in Week 12). However, there will be a change on the goalkeeping front because Al Wakrah have informed us about the end of loan period of goalkeeper Salah Zakaria, so he has to return,” said Jokanovic.

Al Gharafa player Homam Elamin said, “The team will be fully prepared against Umm Salal. Our goal is three points, which requires fighting spirit considering the importance of this match so that the team remains in second place in the table by the end of first leg.

“Regarding our performance in the league’s first leg, we are on the right path and we look forward to continue at the same level until we finish the season in a top position.”