PETALING JAYA – By ERIC SAMUEL: New leaders Armed Forces have a battle on their hands to consolidate their position at the top of the 12-team Super League.
Coach B. Sathianathan has thrown a challenge to the Gladiators to hold on to the lead till they secure the crown this season.
“It is a challenge for my boys to surge forward. They must not look back and finish the season in style. Of course, it is going to be a heavy responsibility to maintain the top spot week in week out. The competition is going to be stiff because the leadership has changed hands three times since the start of the season,” said Sathianathan.
Surprise package Pahang led the standings in the opening five matches before Selangor took over the helm for just one week.
Forces toppled the Red Giants from the standings following a 2-0 win at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi on Tuesday.
The soldiers have 14 points, a slim one-point lead over second-placed Lions XII and third-placed Selangor.
Sathianathan said they would have to treat all their opponents with respect after basement side Negri Sembilan surprisingly held them to a 1-1 draw last week.
The soldiers will be put to the test when they play second from bottom Terengganu at the Sultan Ismail Stadium in Kuala Terengganu tomorrow (4.45pm).
“We learnt a good lesson from Negri. On paper, we should have won easily but we made heavy weather of ourselves and were fortunate to walk away with a point,” added Sathianathan. “Terengganu will be no different. They are desperate to make amends to move up the standings. We just need to keep on working hard to get the three points irrespective of our opponents.”
Forces will welcome back flanker Christie Jayaseelan, who will start for the first time after being out with a thigh injury last year.
Christie said he is ready to claim his position down the flanks.
“I am back after a long lay off and happy to see my team at the top. We bowed out of the FA Cup in the first round to Selangor. Now, we have to go all out for the Super League title,” said Christie.
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