Tianjin Quanjian’s midfielder Zhang Xiuwei celebrates after scoring during a CSL football match between Tianjin Quanjian and Shandong Luneng Taishan on June 3, 2017. (XU SUHUI / XINHUA)
BEIJING - Zhang Xiuwei and Li Xuepeng will help improve Guangzhou FC's competence after they returned to the team ahead of the restart of the Chinese Super League (CSL) campaign, said defender Wang Shilong.
Zhang and Li, who were dropped by the Guangzhou side for the first phase of the CSL season because of salary disputes, were called back to the eight-time champions for the second phase, which is set to kick off on Friday.
We need their experience as well as their quality which can help improve our team's competence ... We suffered a lot due to lack of experience in the first phase. With these two veterans around, we can cope with better in the second phase.
Wang Shilong, Guangzhou FC's defender
"Their return is very important for the team, like a shot in the arm," said Wang.
"We need their experience as well as their quality which can help improve our team's competence," said the 21-year-old defender.
"We suffered a lot due to lack of experience in the first phase. With these two veterans around, we can cope with better in the second phase," he added.
Zhang and Li currently are not in good physical shape as they missed all the ten games of the first phase, said Guangzhou FC head coach Liu Zhiyu.
"When we played during the first phase, they trained on their own. They are not match fit now," he said.
Ricardo Goulart (right) of Guangzhou celebrates with teammate Li Xuepeng after scoring during a Chinese Super League football match between Guangzhou Eevergrande and Liaoning Carsing in Shenyang on Aug 10, 2017. (PAN YULONG / XINHUA)
"We hope they can improve their fitness quickly and help the team," he said.
Guangzhou FC, which sit 16th on the 18-team CSL table with six points, are to face the Cangzhou Mighty Lions on Sunday in Haikou.
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