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Thursday, July 03, 2008

RHINOS BANKING ON ‘WARRIOR SPIRIT’


KOTA KINABALU: Rahman Zakaria hopes the Rhinos’ “warrior” spirit will help them tackle Police and eventually put the latter’s fine run to a halt when they meet in a Malaysia Cup Group B tie at the MP Selayang Stadium tonight!

The Rhinos’ team manager said if the players are able to put up a performance like they did against Kedah, it is not impossible for the team to walk home as victors.

However, Rahman admitted this is not going to be an easy outing for the Rhinos, especially when they have a depleted side while Police are on a high.

“This is going to be another tough match for us, but I have faith in the team to deliver the desired result, especially after what they have shown against Kedah,” said Rahman.

“If the players are able to show the same kind of spirit, determination and commitment, I firmly believe we can pick up points from the game.

“And I’m glad to note that spirit in the team is pretty high and we are certainly banking on the “warrior” spirit that has been shown by the players in our last two games, especially against Kedah,” said Rahman.

“I hope in this game, the players will continue with their “fighting spirit” in search for the much needed victory,” he added.

For the record, both teams will go into the game on a high after their impressive outings on Monday.

Sabah, despite being reduced to nine men, displayed strong will in holding reigning champions Kedah in a six-goal thriller, while Police thrashed Kuala Lumpur 7-0.

But Sabah will have the extra reason to win the game, as only victory would see them remain in contention for a place in the quarter-finals, while on the other hand, Police will be looking at strengthening their grip on pole position in the group.

Sabah are currently fifth in the standings on four points, while Police stay on top with eight.

And a victory would certainly enhance Sabah’s chances of making it into the next stage having collected four out of a possible six points in their last two matches.

However, Sabah will have to be wary of the free-scoring Cops as the Rhinos will be without hard-tackling defender Dragic Dalidor after he was sent off against Kedah.

Joining Dalidor on the sidelines will be Hishamuddin Othman who was also shown the red card in the same match.

Skipper Rosdin Wasli is also out, while Brazilian striker Andre Scotti Ossemer, who despite making the trip to the national capital remains a doubtful starter.

The Rhinos’ head coach Drago Mamic would need to tinker to find a replacement for his key defender Dragic.

Drago said he might even play striker Salvester Sindeh, who would return from a one-match suspension, at the backline together with Ahmad Tharmini Saiban, who has been excellent in the last couple of games.

Drago’s other option is to bring in either Mohd Munir Amran or Hardy Charles Parsi back into the starting line-up.

Wong Sai Kong, who scored a stunning equaliser in his last outing, will be there as well while Eddie Gapil is likely to come in for the suspended Hishamuddin, with Zainizam Marjan, Mohd Nafuzi Zain and Chow Chee Wing looking certain to be in the first team.

Bobby Gonzales and David Njoku, who scored a goal each against Kedah, will again spearhead the Rhinos’ attack unless Andre is fit, where Bobby would start from the bench.

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