PETALING JAYA: Struggling Johor FC will be further crippled after having seven regulars on the crock list ahead of the Super League match against defending champions Kelantan at the Pasir Gudang Stadium today.
Among the seven are former international Kaironnisam Sahabudin (nose injury) and Khairi Kiman (knee), who were the latest casualties after the 2-1 defeat to Negri Sembilan in Paroi on May 12. The others on the injury list are midfielders Eddie Helmi Abdul Manan (knee) and Azi Shahril Azmi (ankle), strikers Mohd Zamri Chin (knee), Shahrizal Saad (tendon) and defender Shafizan Hashim (knee).
“We are in a desperate situation but the show has to go on,” said coach Sazali Saidon, who has no choice but to call up three players from the President’s Cup squad as replacements.
“I hope whoever takes the field against Kelantan will be able to do his part. We are staring at relegation, so we have to go for a win against the best team in the country at the moment.
“Kelantan are riding high after winning their first-ever FA Cup. On top of that they have also qualified for the AFC Cup quarter-finals. This makes them the favourites in Pasir Gudang but it does not mean we have thrown in the towel.
“In football anything can happen and do not be surprised if we pull off an upset. It is possible because the players know that we need to get full points to stay in contention for a place in the Malaysia Cup.”
Johor FC are in 13th place in the league with 15 points from 16 matches – one place above bottom side Kuala Lumpur, who have only three points.
Kedah, who have played 17 matches, are in 12th place with 18 points.
Sazali took over the hot-seat after K. Devan quit the team mid-season.
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