PETALING JAYA – By K. RAJAN: Perak coach Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah admitted that he’d be happy if his side can get a point from their Super League clash against Armed Forces at the TLDM Stadium in Lumut tonight.
The 60-year-old coach is pleased with his injury-hit team’s gradual improvement.
He is also in an upbeat mood now that skipper Shahrulnizam Mustapha is set to play a full match for the first time after recovering from an ankle injury. Shahrulnizam’s presence will be a huge boost to the team’s engine room.
Azraai is also happy to see striker Abdul Hadi Yahya, the 2011 Golden Boot winner, finally regaining confidence after scoring in the 1-1 draw against Kelantan last week.
“We’ve suffered bad luck, with injuries to several core players since the start of the season … these injuries have really held us down,” lamented Azraai.
“Hadi’s confidence is back after his return to the national team recently. And Shahrulnizam’s presence will be an added boost to the team. So, a point against Forces would be a good result.”
The Seladang have had a dismal start to the season and are currently eighth in the 12-team standings with 11 points from eight matches.
Perak’s biggest problem was their misfiring French striker Karim Rouani, who has only played three matches after missing five games with a hamstring injury.
Azraai conceded that the 31-year-old Rouani will be shown the exit and probably be replaced by Brazilian Paolo Rangel when the transfer window opens on April 8.
“Rouani failed to meet our expectations and is on his way out … we’ve given Rangel a trial and he has impressed,” said Azraai.
“Rangel has played with Thai side Muangthong United and has a good track record. We’re still looking at other options and I’ll let the management decide when the transfer window re-opens.”
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