By K. RAJAN – PETALING JAYA: Treble winners Kelantan have lost that winning feeling.
The Red Warriors, who clinched the Malaysia Cup, FA Cup and Super League titles last season, are struggling to make an impression in the league this time.
They are in seventh spot in the 12-team Super League with just one win from five games.
Kelantan, however, are optimistic they can bounce back.
But it won’t be easy, not when their next opponents are Selangor!
The Red Warriors will travel to the Shah Alam Stadium tonight knowing that they’ll have to find a way to shackle Selangor hitman Francis Doe if they are to return home with all three precious points.
The Liberian is beginning to hit form after a slow start. He scored a brace in Selangor’s 3-0 win over Sabah in an FA Cup second round tie in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday.
“The Selangor forwards – Francis and (Mohd) Amri (Yahyah) – are dangerous and hold the key to their team’s success,” warned Kelantan coach Bojan Hodak.
However, there is good news for Kelantan as Amri will be serving out a four-match suspension and they’ll only have to deal with Doe.
“Expectations are high on Kelantan to win everything again. But it’s not easy. We’re trying to make a comeback after a stuttering start but playing away is never easy … not when it is against Selangor,” said Hodak.
“We always play for a win but I won’t be complaining if we can get a point from the match.”
Hodak is expected to keep talismanic skipper Mohd Badri Radzi, who has just recovered from a bout of flu, on the bench for tonight’s match.
The coach also said that his strikers had been putting in extra shift in training.
“Our midfield and defence have always been solid but our attackers have yet to hit their strides. However, the attacking players have been doing very well in training. I hope they’ll hit form against Selangor,” said Hodak.
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