Branco Panic of Croatia playing for Sabah
Tough time ahead: Jose
14 August, 2005
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah are expecting a tough match with Selangor PKNS team at the Stadium Larkin, Johor, despite the latter occupying the last spot in Malaysia Cup Group A table. Coach Jose Garrido said midfielder Rosdin Wasli is still injured while defender Ronny Harun is in Kuala Lumpur training with the national Under-23 football team.
The latest records showed that the Rhinos are third in the table while Terengganu, on top with three points and Perlis, second, also with three points. "It'll be a tough match considering we've never met PKNS previously," he said on Saturday. Although the Portuguese coach did not elaborate, his words clearly reflected the situation Sabah are facing.
Beaten by Perlis 1-2 earlier this month, the Rhinos has been struggling to make good its pledge to win at least one trophy this season. It lost its chances in the FA Cup and was demoted from the Super League to the Premier League.
Nevertheless, Sabah FA (Safa) President, Datuk Anifah Aman, believes that his players hold the key to the match outcome. "I was informed by the coach (Garrido) that the players did really well during training.
"Hence, they should apply the form they displayed during training throughout the 90 minutes game on Sunday because at the end of the day, it is the players who decided the outcome of the match," he said.
He said playing an away or home match does not make any difference because the Rhinos had proven they are not invincible even when playing on home ground. "What's more important is that the players produce their best while they are in the field," he stressed.
Meanwhile, Anifah expressed hope that the import players adapt to the environment in Sabah fast so that they could help the Rhinos do well in the tournament.
The import players are Brazilians Julio Cesar Rodrigues and Ivan Martin, Nigerian Udensi Christopher Ikechukwu and Branco Panic of Croatia. Garrido said apart from Rosdin and Ronny, the rest of the players could be fielded in the Sabah-Selangor PKNS match.
Shamsul Sabtu, Md Reithudin Embran, Madzalan Emoi, Branco Panic, Mafry Ballang, Mohd Arsyah Mohd Ayob, Henry Soimpon, Joey Ryan Gundok, Zainizam Marjan, Julio Cesar Rodrigues and Udensi Christopher Ikechukwu
DAILY EXPRESS NEWS