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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rhinos going all out to redeem themselves


KOTA KINABALU: Promotion may be already out of reach, but that will not deter Sabah from eyeing victory when they take on Shahzan Muda of Pahang in a Premier League tie at the Likas Stadium tonight.

Team manager Rahman Zakaria insists there is no reason for them to take the match lightly. “Everyone is disappointed. We are disappointed so are the players, but we have to realise that our battle is far from over.

“Although promotion is now out of our reach, but it doesn’t mean that we can take things easy.

“Our season is not over yet, and it is important for us to make the best possible finish in the league,” said Rahman.

“As we all know, football is a funny old game, and anything can still happen.

“But while we are disappointed for missing the promotion, but when we look at our overall performances, the team have done relatively well.

“For instance, in the FA Cup, we reached the quarter-finals, while now we are also in the last eight of the Malaysia Cup. And in the league we have a good chance of finishing the season in third.

“We have quite a young squad and given time, I’m sure we will put up a better show next time around.

Rahman also said that it is also important for them to try to play their best game as they need to start preparing for the Malaysia.

“This is our last chance to redeem ourselves. And it would not be easy as all those remaining in the competition are all from the Super League.

“Nevertheless, if we can fully focus on the Cup and play as a team, I’m sure we will not be there to make up the numbers, but as one of the contenders for the crown,” Rahman said.

Sabah have been pitted against Negeri Sembilan Naza in the quarter-finals where it has been slated for August.

For tonight’s clash, Rahman hinted that they will be at full strength.

However, the Rhinos’ chief coach Drago Mamic could be using the match to try the untested youngsters.

“No matter who the coach picks for the game, I’m very sure it will be the best squad,” said Rahman.

Rahman also urged the fans to come and support the team, as this will be their last league game of the season at home before concluding the league challenge playing two away fixtures against Police and Selangor PKNS.

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