By K. RAJAN
PETALING JAYA: Kelantan coach Bojan Hodak is in no hurry to replace misfiring striker Keita Mandjou although the Red Warriors have been checking out some new foreign players.
The 41-year-old Croatian coach handed trials to Nigerian Dickson Nwakaeme and Frenchman Salim Arrache in the friendlies against Indonesian club Semen Padang and Felda United last week.
Kelantan drew 1-1 with Semen Padang last Saturday and beat Felda United 2-0 on Thursday.
The treble winners have registered Nigerian defender Obinna Nwaneri and Guinean striker Mandjou for the M-League and Australian Dimitri Petratos and Croatian defender Lek Kcira for the AFC Cup.
Clubs competing in the AFC Cup can amend their squad list a week before the start of the competition on Feb 27. The second transfer window for the M-League opens in April.
Hodak said the team liked to plan ahead and were looking at the options available before deciding on their players’ registrations.
“The management asked me to test several players … it’s part of our planning programme and I’ll submit my recommendations to the management for further action,” said Hodak.
“I admit that this might put pressure on Mandjou but, if he can hit form by April, he could still be in the team. I have spoken to him and he understands the situation well.
“The expectations on foreign players will always be high in Malaysia. Mandjou has been working hard in training and just needs a goal to boost his confidence.”
Kelantan will face bitter rivals Selangor at the Shah Alam Stadium on Feb 16 when the M-League resumes after the three-week international break.
The east coast giants are seventh in the Super League with six points from five matches and Mandjou, the 2006 Golden Boot winner, has yet to break his duck.
Hodak isn’t too concerned with his team’s slow start in the league as he believes that the Red Warriors will bounce back.
“We’re having a bit of difficulty but I’m not under pressure or afraid … we can only get better,” he said.
- Hodak leaps to under-fire striker Mandjou’s defence
- Hodak happy to stay with Kelantan after super season
- Hodak hails Sathia as the best coach in Malaysia
- Half-fit hitman Mandjou aims to shoot down army boys
- It was an ugly final, admits Kelantan coach Hodak