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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Rhinos confident of victory in return leg

Kota Kinabalu: Rhinos' Team Manager Rahman Zakaria said his boys are all set and ready to take on Kuala Lumpur in their return-leg FA Cup match at Likas Stadium here, tonight (Tuesday).

He said the players have spent the last few days training and preparing for the return leg and that a win should be in store as playing on home soil gives them a natural advantage over the visiting KL team.

"The players are ready for the clash. They've prepared well for this match and are all ready. They would be playing in front of home supporters so they have nothing to fear," said Rahman.

Rahman believes that his squad of young talents and several experienced players would likely be the eventual victors as the Rhinos are coming into the game with an away goal advantage, needing only a goalless draw to advance to the next round.

Nonetheless, Rahman is taking nothing for granted and has urged his squad to go all out for the win.

"A one-all draw in last week's first leg match has given us an away goal advantage. If it ends in a goalless draw, we will go through. If it is a repeat of last week's score, we will play extra time. But I've told the boys to go all out for the win and that is what we hope to achieve," he said.

When asked for his thoughts on last week's game, Rahman said, "the referee robbed us".

He said the referee failed to show equal leniency when he showed the yellow card to four Rhino players but then kept it hidden when the home players committed bookable offences.

"I can understand how my players must have felt. It's not easy to play when you encounter a referee like that. It affected our momentum for the game.

We probably would have done better," said Rahman.

He knows that what happened in KL had affected his players' morale but hopes they would forget the incident and focus purely on tonight's match.

Rahman hopes the home supporters would turn up for the fixture to cheer the Rhinos, as home support is crucial for any team.

"We have a great chance to advance given the away goal that we have and the confidence the players would have playing at home.

"I hope the supporters would come and watch the match and cheer us on.

They are a very important factor to the team."

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