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Pohang Steelers are set to play in their first ACL Final since 2009 and are on the hunt for a record fourth title. However, in part two of the interview with Alex Grant, the centre back says that he and his teammates aren't thinking too much about records and are instead just looking forward to the occasion.
Q: What are your thoughts on the possibility of winning a fourth ACL title for Pohang? Is that something that is on your mind?
A: "It'd be nice, wouldn't it for the club to kind of go outright and have four titles in the Champions League, and leave Al Hilal on three. I don't think that's something that's playing on anyone's mind, it's just probably an added bonus. Really, we just want to go there and win it. That's what we set out to do from the start of this season and that's what we're looking to do whilst we're there."
Q: Al Hilal are a big, strong team, they won it a couple of years ago, they're playing on home soil and will probably be the favourites. But as we have seen from Pohang this season in one-off games, you just can't rule yourselves out, can you?
A: "I think [one leg] plays into our advantage, massively, and also the fact that we're playing in Saudi because from what I've seen on TV, if for the home team, things aren't going particularly well for them in the game, it's quite a hostile environment, it seems and fans will probably start getting on their back and that can play into our advantage massively. I think we'll just soak it up. We've not played in front of a big crowd this season because of COVID restrictions and whatnot so I think all the lads really going into the game will be thoroughly excited and willing to soak up the atmosphere and the experience."
Q: What will preparations be like in the build-up to the game?
A: "Before the Nagoya game, I'd say I probably had the hardest week of the season in terms of physical training, and it was very demanding and as hard as preseason. And at the time I was kind of questioning it. if I'm honest with you and thinking I'm gonna feel absolutely shattered going into this Nagoya game. But I felt alright and it seemed to do the job. So, the coaches, they have a different approach to what I'm used to. I don't think there'll be too many video sessions, there will be leading into the few days before but not so much at the start of the week. We've got a good amount of time now, we'll have almost a week in Saudi and that gives us time to adjust to the time and the weather."
Pohang Steelers play Al Hilal of Saudia Arabia on Tuesday 23rd November at 19:00 local time, (Wednesday 24th November 01:00 KST). Preview coming soon.