Al Sailiya forward Temurkhuja Abdukholiqov in an Exclusive Interview with QSL Online


‘We may be the dark horses and even title contenders’

‘I wish to win at least one title with Al Sailiya’

‘The teams’ level is close in QNB Stars League’

‘The team management treats all players equally’

Al Sailiya have been enjoying a good run in the QNB Stars League this season and their 3-2 victory over Umm Salal saw them leapfrog the latter into the top four in standings after seven rounds.

The performances and dedication of Al Sailiya players, including Uzbek import Temurkhuja Abdukholiqov, have come in for special praise. The forward, who has been contributing immensely to the team’s cause, is a key player in Tunisian coach Sami Trabelsi’s scheme of things.

QSL Online spoke to Abdukholiqov, currently joint-third in the top scorers’ chart with six goals along with Al Duhail’s Youssef Msakni after Al Duhail’s Youssef El Arabi (11) and team-mate Wagner Ribeiro (seven), in an exclusive interview.

What’s your assessment of the team since the beginning of this season?

I’m very happy because of the good start we’ve had. We’ve won five of the seven matches in the league and lost only to strong teams Al Sadd and Al Rayyan. 

Did you expect Al Sailiya would go places?

Even during the pre-season camp, we knew this team had potential. We benefited from the overseas friendlies we played. We’ve a great coach and outstanding players who’re determined to give off their best. With hard work, we’ll achieve success even though we don’t know what awaits us as the league progresses.

What’s the reason behind your good performance?

A supportive team management, dedicated players and coach.

Will Al Sailiya be the dark horses this season?

Why not… The main target of any team is to win games and ours is no different. We may be the dark horses and even title contenders when we’ve factors favouring us. We’ve top-quality technical staff and players capable of helping the side to many surprises by the time the season ends.

Will you be able to sustain the momentum in the rounds to come?

After seven rounds of action, we all know that the league will be very difficult this season. The teams’ level is close. Plus, when some fight for the top-four position and some others to avoid relegation, that’ll make the matches tough.

How do you analyse your own performance?

Footballers develop after every day and also every season. I’m very happy with my contribution to the team, which has helped me improve my performance.

Do you think you’re playing at your best for Al Sailiya?

Indeed. When you play in a strong league, it’ll enable your performance to evolve.

What’s your message to Al Sailiya fans?

We’ll try hard to earn the confidence and trust of team management and fans.

A lot of people have praised the team’s performance this season compared to the previous one…

The credit goes to consistency, the positive atmosphere prevailing in the team camp and performances of players. We’ve a great team and I’ll try harder to score more goals.

Will you be able to continue your scoring spree?

I’ve already scored six goals so far and that’s a good figure. Last season, I had seven goals to my credit after joining the side in January transfer window. I hope to increase that number, so the team could achieve positive results.

What’re your targets and ambitions?

In the first place, I would love to win one title with Al Sailiya. I had won titles with the clubs I have played for, last of which the league, cup and award for the top scorer with my previous team Lokomotiv. We had also qualified for the AFC Champions League quarterfinal.

How did you feel while leaving Lokomotiv for Al Sailiya?

I felt so happy. I had received two or three offers from the Gulf region and Iran. I chose Al Sailiya because that was the best option for me. I came to Doha to play and not be a substitute. I’m 26 and if I don’t play a lot now, then when’ll I do that?

What’s the difference between the current season and previous one for your team?

We started the season with good preparations and that boosted our confidence. The technical staff have enhanced our overall performance.

What do Al Sailiya miss while competing for titles?

Nothing, I believe. As I said, we’ve got a very good team of professional as well as national players producing positive results.

What’s your personal ambition this season?

In fact, my personal ambition matches that of the team. I wish to win at least one title this season with Al Sailiya and dedicate it to the club’s president Abdulla Al Eida, who has provided the side with everything to progress and improve.

Which team has grabbed your attention?

There’re a number of reputed teams in the QNB Stars League this season. Prominent among them are Al Rayyan, Al Duhail and Al Sadd.

Who’s your favourite player this season?

Of course, there’re a lot of good players in the league this season, but Xavi Hernandez of Al Sadd stands out.

Which team has more chances of winning the league title?

I think it’s too early to discuss it. The title race may go down to the wire, say the last or penultimate round.

How’s the relationship between the Al Sailiya team management and players?

The team management deals with the players in a friendly and professional manner. It has a good system in place. One important thing about the club’s management is that it doesn’t segregate players. Also, it promotes team spirit and harmony among us. We, the players, have been given the best of facilities and we feel very comfortable in a professional ambience. The entire team is like a family.

Then, we’ve a coach of high calibre (Trabelsi) whose philosophy and mentality are unique. The players have long been used to his tactics and carry out his instructions effectively on the field. Frankly speaking, I’m so happy to be playing under him.