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Friday, December 21, 2007


KOTA KINABALU: Drago Mamic demands “consistent performances” from his charges!

The Croatian believes that only by doing so can they achieve glory this season.

“We have to be consistent to stay on the winning track,” the Rhinos’ head coach said.

“Even though it is impossible for us to play or show the same kind of performances in all our games, but it is important for us to at least maintain our playing level.

“We have to set our own level and must try to maintain it even when it is not our day. We must not perform below our own capabilities, abilities or strengths,” he added.

And Drago also believes he has a team that is capable of mounting the State’s challenge in the M-League this season.

However, he was quick to point out that they must put their feet on the ground at all times.

“As I have said all along, in football you will never be satisfied after just one game. There must be continuity. You have to work hard everyday.

“But I’m happy to see there is hunger in this team. I can finally say that now we are really looking like a team.

On the Rhinos’ resounding 4-0 victory over Armed Forces in the opener on Monday, Drago said he was happy with the way the team approached the game.

“The team played well … tactically. We played our (own) game throughout and we showed patience in the game.

“This was only our first game, but we showed quality. The result is after a good game. And I’m very happy that we produced goals, not only from one particular player, but from different players.

“This clearly shows that we are not depending on one player. What I can say is we won the game with team effort. Any of the players can score, from the strikers, defenders as well as midfielders.

“I’m also pleased to see we managed to pass the ball around and play to our own rhythm.

“Even though we are not 100 per cent, but we managed to score four goals and keep a clean sheet which is flattering,” he said.

“However, I would like to remind the players that it is important for us to work hard for the whole season instead of just for one game.

“We must be able to keep our feet on the ground throughout the season in order to stay on track (of winning).

“This is just our first game, and we don’t really know what it is going to be like after five or six games. So we need to be prepared at all times. Furthermore, this result (against Armed Forces) will mean nothing if we cannot win against Proton FC in our first home game next week,” Drago said.

For the upcoming game against Proton FC, Drago hinted making minor changes to his winning squad.

“I think we need to make one or two changes to our first team. Not that there is something wrong with any of the players who started the game against Armed Forces, but these changes are just our tactical approaches. When we play a home game, we need to be more offensive while in away battles, we need to be more cautious in our approach.

“As I have said earlier, overall I’m very happy with the team and the players. These changes are just our game plan and nothing more!

On the Rhinos’ search for their third foreign player, Drago said that they are not rushing into signing the said player.

“We are looking, but we are not in a hurry. What is important is for us to sign a player with good quality who can fit into the team immediately.

“At the moment, the current squad is good enough to spearhead our challenge, and maybe by January we may need to sign the new player because by then things will get tougher.

“We will also play a lot of games by then as the FA Cup also takes place. So we need cover for injuries as well as suspensions,” Drago said.

In the game against the Armed Forces, Jamie Anthony Lawrence Phoenix, Bobby Gonzalez, Zuraindey Jumai and Nafuzi Zain scored a goal each for the Rhinos.

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