EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ‘We'll stay in top flight’


Promoted team Al Markhiya are preparing for the QNB Stars League’s second phase in the best possible way under the watchful eyes of coach Yousef Adam. They will travel to 13-time champions Al Sadd for their 12th-round game on 13th January.

The Oryxes are at the bottom of standings halfway through the league with only seven points and just one victory. It is true that they have found life in the top flight difficult.

Will the team perform better in the second phase of QNB Stars League? Will they avoid relegation? Or Will Al Markhiya sign new players in the current transfer window? Many questions are doing the rounds.

In an exclusive interview with QSL Online, Al Markhiya Sports Club Vice-President Jamil Obaid answered them all.

“The players are regularly training under coach Yousef. They’re preparing hard for the second half of the season in a very positive way, be it practice sessions or friendly matches,” said Jamil.

“We played a friendly against Al Arabi, which we won 1-0, and will play another versus Al Rayyan on Friday. The coach has asked for a third game. The club management is supporting the team in all ways possible so that we stay in the top division. We’re keen on improving our performance in the second phase and we’re confident of achieving our target,” he said.

Jamil lamented that the team’s inability to score more goals and the lost opportunities adversely affected their results on more occasions than one in the first phase.

Al Markhiya have scored the least number of goals (eight) among all teams, giving them a goal difference of -11.

“We’ve analysed our performance and results in the first stage. We were also unlucky in many games. You might’ve noticed how well we played against Al Duhail and Umm Salal in the QNB Stars League’s Round 10 and 11 respectively. We lost narrowly to Al Duhail (1-2), while we held Umm Salal 1-1,” he said.

Asked whether Al Markhiya would change players in the current winter transfer window, Jamil said, “The head coach hasn’t asked the team management for a new player, local or overseas. Our four foreign professionals have settled down and we reinforced the squad by recruiting some reputed Qatari players such as Bilal Mohammed, Anas Mubarak and Abdelqadir Ilyas.

“We’re sure we can fare far better in the second phase of 11 matches and achieve our main objective of staying in the QNB Stars League.”