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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tricky encounter

New Sabah Times
MICHAEL WILLIAM BAIRD … who made a heroic home debut on Saturday will again partner Bobby Gonzales in attack.
KOTA KINABALU: Buoyed by their 2-1 win over Sarawak on Saturday, Sabah are in the right mood ahead of their clash against table-toppers Terengganu’s T-Team at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu tonight.

However, Justin Ganai knows this is one tricky trip for his boys, especially facing a side that seems to be riding high having scored six goals and conceding none after 180 minutes of action into the new season.

For that reason, the Sabah head coach is contemplating of making tactical change, and is expected to approach the game with a more defensive strategy as he quietly sets his sights on stealing at least a point.

“As we all know, T-Team have been going great guns in their opening two matches compared to us where we only notched a slim win.
“We have to be ready and prepared because this is definitely going to be a tough match for us.
“We had quite a game against Sarawak, and if we can up our game a little, I’m quite sure this is going to be an interesting battle.

“The players must try to play their hearts out and every one of them needs to double their efforts if we are going to get something out of this clash,” said Justin.
“I’ll still be happy with a point, and to return home with three will be a big bonus for the team,” he added.

Justin also hinted that he is likely to make minor changes to his first team that defeated Sarawak.
“I think I’m going to start with K. Thanaraj at the left of midfield and will rest Md Rozaimi (Abd Rahman) because I think Thana has better defensive qualities.
To a question, Justin said that he is still undecided on whether to retain Syed Adney Syed Hussin as his first choice ball stopper.

Adney has started Sabah’s last two games and conceded three goals. Against Sarawak, he looked shaky, and Justin is aware of that, and he will discuss with his coaching staff before picking his man with Azizon Abd Kadir ready to take over after recovering from injury.

Justin said the rest of the players that started the Sarawak game are likely to be retained.
In attack, Michael William Baird, who made a heroic home debut on Saturday will again partner Bobby Gonzales.
The good thing is both strikers scored against Sarawak, and this would surely instil confidence within them to go for more.

In midfield, Justin will again rely on Brendan Gan and Mohd Radzi Hussin while Shahrudin Yakup, who did well in his home debut, will be at the right while Thana on the left of midfield.

The four-man defence is Mafry Balang, skipper Md Reithudin Ag Emran, Mohd Fariss, Azlan Mat Isa.
The foursome had better watch out for the likes of Zairo Anuar Zailani, Faiz Subri and Zachariah Simukonda.
Zairo is currently the leading scorer in the Super League with three goals while Faiz two and Simukonda one.

But if the Sabahawks are to return home with a point, they had better sharpen their claws and try to minimise their schoolboy errors, as without disrespect to Sarawak, T-Team have more deadly finishers.

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