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Friday, January 04, 2008


KOTA KINABALU: The Rhinos will be going into the top of the table clash against Johor Pasir Gudang eyeing nothing less than a victory as they plot to reclaim the pole position.

The match that kicks off at 8.15pm at the Tawau Sports Complex tonight is the Rhinos’ second home game of the season after the 4-1 victory over Proton FC on Dec 28.

The Rhinos are confident of a second victory on home turf that would eventually help move them back to the top spot.

After three games into the new season, Johor Pasir Gudang sit on the top of the 13-team standings after maintaining their 100 per cent record thus far, ahead of the second-placed Rhinos by two points, who were held to a one-all draw by Kuala Lumpur in their last game (away).

But despite the draw against Kuala Lumpur, Rahman Zakaria believes they would be back to winning ways, starting with tonight’s game.

“This will be an important game because it is our first match of the New Year. And it is good to start our New Year challenge on a high as it will give us confidence. So tomorrow (tonight) we will do our utmost best to get full points,” the Rhinos’ team manager said.

“Undoubtedly this is going to be an interesting clash. We know Johor are a good side as their record shows, but we are not afraid, especially when we are playing in our own backyard.

“Here I would like to make a humble call to the fans … for them to come in full force to support the team.

“I also want them to realise that they are one of the key factors to the team’s success. So I hope they will stay and rally behind the team and help make it (Tawau Sports Complex) a place teams fear coming to,” Rahman added.

On a positive note, Rahman pointed out that they will have a full squad for the match, adding that all the players are available for options.

He then hinted that the Rhinos’ head coach Drago Mamic is likely to be sticking to the side that played in the game against Kuala Lumpur.

“I don’t think there’ll be any changes, but before the game, anything can happen. But for this game I’m very sure, he (Drago) will go for a winning formula,” said Rahman.

The other matches of the night will see FELDA United FC taking on KL Plus FC, while Melaka will take on Kuala Muda Naza.

Shahzan Muda will face Kelantan, while Harimau Muda (national Under-19) will be pitted against Kuala Lumpur. The last fixture of the night will see Armed Forces taking on Proton FC.

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