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Friday, January 06, 2012

Weather the storm

New Sabah Times
SABAH IMPORTS … Brendan Gan (left) and Michael Baird (centre) in action in the match against Brunei on Wednesday. – BernamaPhoto
KOTA KINABALU: Justin Ganai has sent a friendly memo to his chargers by wanting them to be ready and prepared to play under all types of conditions.

He said the players must try to adapt well to any kind of environment they are playing in as they are bound to face unexpected circumstances such as hostile atmosphere, slippery pitches or playing under the rain during their Super League 2012 campaign.

“We must be ready for all types of conditions. There will be times during the Super League where we will be playing under the rain and so on and we must be prepared to adapt to any situation,” said Justin.

The Sabah head coach added that being able to adapt to any kind of environment will give them the edge over their opponents.
On the 4-0 win over Brunei, Justin said it was a good match, insisting that the visiting Brunei team gave them a tough fight.

But despite the convincing win, the Justin’s boys failed to impress the hundreds of fans who turned up for the Wednesday afternoon clash, and no thanks to the slippery and muddy pitch following the heavy downpour prior to the tie.

For that reason, Justin wants his chargers to take full advantage when they take on the same side again at the Penampang Stadium at 4.15pm today.
“Tomorrow (today) will be the final chance to warm-up before we head into the Super League challenge next week so I hope the players will take full advantage to play competitively,” said Justin.

He also hinted that he will be using the match before deciding on his squad for their Super League opener away to KL Felda United FC at the Hang Jebat Stadium, Melaka next Tuesday.
In the first of the two series friendly matches, striker Bobby Gonzales drew first blood with a 48th minute header before substitutes Shahrudin Yakup, Juffry Omopor and Razlan Oto scored a goal each inside the last 20 minutes of the tie.

And today, Justin wants his strike-force to be more lethal in their finishing.
“In the first game, I think we struggled in our finishing. We must improve on that.”
Meanwhile, team manager Haji Shahriman Abdullah said he was happy to see the development of the team, and that he is convinced they will be able to give their opponents a run for their money in the Super League.

He said that with a little luck on their side, they could bring back glory to Sabah.
He was also quoted as saying by the national news agency – Bernama – that besides trying to improve on their Super League standings, they are eying the elusive Malaysia Cup crown this season.

“We are upbeat about our chances this season following our formidable performance in friendlies against Sarawak and Brunei. We are determined to be a force to be reckoned with again,” said Shahriman.

For the record, Sabah finished 10th in the Super League last season and failed in their first hurdle both in the FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup competitions.

“We have been consistent of late and our Australian imports are blending well with local players. We have a few tricks up our sleeves and I hope they could prove fruitful,” he said referring to their foreign signings – Australian striker Michael Baird and midfielder Brendan Gan, who has Malaysian blood.
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