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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Aussie duo staying

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Haji Shahriman Abdullah has strongly denied that they are contemplating on replacing their foreign signing duo of Michael William Baird and Brendan Gan when the transfer window opens next month.
The Sabah team manager insisted there is no truth in the rumours before hitting back at the claims, which he said is someone’s attempt in trying to destabilise the squad.

Shahriman said he was happy with the effort, commitment and spirit shown by both their import players, who have been working really hard for the team, and sees no reason for any change of personnel.
Furthermore, Shahriman, who is also the FA’s Treasurer, pointed out that the team is starting to get better with each game.

“We are not the type of people who just take people here and there and get rid of them … whether it is local or foreign players because what we want to do is to get them to be one big unit.
“To do that, we must give them time because it cannot be done overnight,” he said.
“I think there is someone out there who is trying to disturb our momentum,” said Shahriman, who then questioned why it (rumours) emerges when they are currently in a decent sixth placing in the 14-team standings.

“When we were in 10th placing, this matter was never brought up … maybe because they are happy to see the team not doing well.
Shahriman also revealed that even national head coach Datuk K. Rajagopal commended both Brendan and Michael’s abilities.

“After the game against the national squad recently, I met with the national coach, and both our foreign players received plaudits from him. He (Rajagopal) said Sabah was lucky to have among the best foreign players in the League.

He also urged local players to emulate the efforts shown by the Australian duo.
“I hope and urge our local players to continue to work hard and try to prove to our coaching staff that they are worth a place in the first team. I know there are players who seem to take a backseat, thinking that they are not given any chance.

“I would like to stress that our head coach (Justin Ganai) will surely give any player the chance to play in the first team provided that he can prove that he deserves to be given a chance to do so.”
Anyway, Shahriman said, overall, he was happy with the progress made by the team while wanting them to continue with their efforts.

He also warns shirkers that there is no place for them unless they change their attitude.
Shahriman also advises his charges to stay away from negative activities, and also wants them to look after themselves like professional athletes on or off the field.

For the record, it has been a tough start for Sabah, but of late, they have started to put things right, and they are now in a steadier sixth placing with 13 points in their bag, seven behind League leaders Kelantan, and a mere three points from third and fourth placed T-Team and Perak respectively.

They have registered three wins, four draws and two defeats after nine matches into the season.
If they can consistently pick up the points, sooner rather than later, they would find themselves among those teams challenging for honours.
They take on Terengganu in their next tie away this Saturday.

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