Sanchez backs Qatar to handle the pressure

Abu Dhabi: Head coach Felix Sanchez believes pressure will not play a part when his Qatar side face Korea Republic in Friday’s eagerly anticipated AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 quarter-final encounter.
Qatar head into the game against one of the tournament favourites having won Group E and then beating Iraq 1-0 in the Round of 16 – a run of victories that has seen them score 11 times and keep four successive clean sheets.
Despite Qatar never having progressed beyond this stage in any of their previous nine appearances at the competition, Sanchez believes his squad is adequately equipped to cope with the undoubtedly intense nature of an AFC Asian Cup quarter-final tie.
“Up until this point the team has performed well and has achieved some very good results,” explained the Spanish tactician.
“Of course, all of them are professional players and they are used to playing in competitions such as their domestic leagues and the AFC Champions League, so they are used to having this kind of pressure.”
“The pressure of being in a quarter-final is more than welcome and I think they have to enjoy it, and work very hard to have the chance to have at least one more game.
“I want them to feel the pressure in the right way because it is a very important game, but they are absolutely used to these kinds of situations.”
Qatar will be without the suspended Abdelkarim Hassan and Assim Madibo after the key duo picked up their second yellow cards of the campaign during the win over Iraq.
Whilst acknowledging their loss was a blow, Sanchez remained adamant that his squad has sufficient depth to deal with their enforced absence, something which he believes is par for the course in tournament football.
“We know we are going to face a very tough game against what many people believe are one of the favourites for the tournament,” he said.
“Once you reach this far in the competition, it is normal to have injuries or players suspended. We are a group of 23 players, and we have every confidence in all the players who are here.
“Of course, it would be better to have everyone available, but we are sure that we will maintain our [current level] and be ready to compete against Korea Republic.”