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Friday, February 01, 2008

BANKING ON ANDRE


KOTA KINABALU: The Rhinos will again be looking at new signing Andre Ossemer to help revive their fortunes for the better when they take on lowly Melaka at the Tawau Sports Complex tonight.

The Brazilian striker netted an injury-time winner for his side in his debut for the team in the 2-1 victory over Felda United FC last Monday.

He also put the Rhinos on level terms from the spot after Felda United FC took a shock 1-0 lead at half time.

Tonight, Scotti as he is fondly known among his friends is certain to start the game in attack with either Englishman Jamie Phoenix or Bobby Gonzalez.

And the Rhinos will be looking for his magic touch to turn the screw on the visitors, who are currently languishing second from bottom in the 13-team standings.

“We will be looking for nothing less than victory,” Rahman Zakaria said.

“We just cannot afford to make any more blunders,” he added.

“With the players that we have, I don’t see any reason why we cannot collect all three points. Furthermore, we will be having the home-ground advantage as well as the ever supportive fans in Tawau,” the Rhinos’ team manager said.

Rahman said it is important for the team to focus on the game and take the match positively.

“They have shown that they are capable of not only playing good football, but also winning matches.

“The only thing missing now is consistency. There is no point of us talking about how good the team is if we cannot show it on the field.

“Well, it was a great relief that we won our last match, but now we must look ahead and start showing some consistency.

“On the part of the players, they have a lot to prove because we are in a situation where a win is a must.

“But I firmly believe that the team does have the mental strength to help us achieve our goals.

“Our head coach (Drago Mamic) has done his best and you just cannot ask him to do more because it is the players who will take to the pitch.

At the same time, Rahman also warned the Rhinos from underestimating their opponents.

“They (Melaka) may be seen struggling at the moment, but anything can happen in football. So I must remind the players to give their best shot and not to take Melaka for granted,” said Rahman.

The Rhinos will be without team captain Rosdin Wasli and right-back Wong Sai Kong for the match.

Rosdin is nursing a knee injury and could be out as long as a week, while Sai Kong will serve his automatic one-match suspension after collecting his third yellow card in the Felda United game.

Rahman hinted that either Zainizam Marjan or Ahmad Tharmini Saiban would wear the skipper’s armband.

Youngster Hardy Charles Parsi is likely to fill in the vacuum left by Sai Kong.

The Rhinos are likely to start the game with Irwan Jamil as the No 1 ball stopper while at the backline would be Hardy, Tharmini, Dragic Dalibor and Munir Amran.

Nafuzi Zain, Zuraindey Jumai, Chow Chee Wing and either Zainizam or Jamie will play in the midfield while Bobby and Andre are likely to start in attack.

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