Thursday, May 21, 2009

Perlis bid to pile on more misery for struggling Red Warriors

The Monday : Monday May 18, 2009


GEORGE TOWN: Super League leaders Perlis have no qualms about kicking a man when he is down.

The “man” in question is the down-on-their luck Kelantan, currently undergoing a post-FA Cup final confidence crisis.

Last Saturday, Perlis eased past the out-of-sorts Red Warriors 2-0 in Kangar. And the Northern Lions want to heap more misery on the East Coast outfit when the two teams meet again in the return league encounter in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.

Perlis coach Irfan Bakti said yesterday: “Kelantan’s morale is at its lowest point and this is the best time for us to take advantage of the situation.

“We must not make the mistake of presenting Kelantan with the opportunity to snap out of their dismal run. Perlis should have won by a bigger margin in Kangar and I am confident we can obtain another victory on Tuesday.”

First-half goals from Mohd Firdaus Fauzi and Mohd Nizaruddin Yusop allowed the Northern Lions to maintain their slender one-point lead over Selangor at the top of the standings.

It was the third straight league defeat for Kelantan following their 1-4 penalty shoot-out defeat by Selangor in the FA Cup final last month.

Prior to Saturday’s loss, Peter Butler’s troubled side went down 0-2 to Negri Sembilan and 1-2 to Johor FC. The three-game losing streak saw Kelantan dropping to sixth place in the standings.

Kelantan’s cause was not helped by the ban on the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru due to crowd trouble. The Red Warriors are using the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil as their home base until the end of the year.

The Kelantan-born Irfan had nothing but praises for the Perlis players for their professionalism on the pitch. The Perlis players have not been paid their full salaries last month.

“We have reached the point in the season when there is no turning back. We are in the position to fight for the league title and cannot do it without total commitment and co-operation from everybody,” he said.

“I am proud of the players for not allowing the team’s financial problems to distract them from their task.”

For tomorrow’s clash, Irfan will be without injured centreback Amzar Junaidi and the suspended midfielder Azi Shahril Azmi. But the coach believes the duo’s absence will not affect Perlis’ chances of notching their 12th win of the season.

No comments: