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Monday, March 12, 2012

No let-up for sabahawks

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: It should be full points on the road for the high flying Sabahawks Junior when they take on lowly Penang SDM in a President’s Cup Group A challenge at the Batu Kawan Stadium today.
Albeit any upset, Sabahawks Junior look set to extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches. They have won all their five home matches and also returned home as victors in two out of last four away ties with another two ties ending in draws.

Today, expectation is high for the Group A table topper to snatch all the three points. But despite their superb run, Juil Nuatim is not taking the game lightly.
Instead, the Sabah team manager pointed out that this match will need an extra effort and sees no reason for them to underestimate their opponents, including Penang SDM.

“They may be among the bottom sides in the standings, but we cannot take them lightly. To underestimate any of the opponents,SDM included, is unhealthy.
“So my advice to the players is for them to go all out and try to win the game.
“People may say this is an easy tie, but no this is not an easy match. Football is a funny game and that anything can happen.

“So I hope they are prepared to work hard and stay focus like they did in our previous matches,” Juil said.
“As long as we play to our true strength and play with high spirit and determination, I’m quite optimistic of getting the result,” he added.

The team’s head coach Johnny Dominicus also shares the manager’s sentiment insisting that they have to do the best they could in getting the result.

But obviously, Johnny added, the target is nothing less than victory.
He revealed that the only setback they face ahead of the clash is, there are several of their regular players carrying injuries.
Nevertheless, he added, all of them will make the trip.

Johnny’s main concern is his midfielder Maxsius Musa, who is having a swollen left calf aggravated in the 2-0 win over Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School in their last game.
“His injury is quite serious, and we are still unsure whether he will be fit for the clash.
“Aldrine Agus is also nursing injury on his ankle so does Denisi Mekhadan and Fread Filemon Saih.
“I’m still not sure whether to play any of the foursomes. We just have to wait and see, and would decide on it hours before the game,” said Johnny.

He also said that the crocked midfielder Sabri Sahar is still unavailable, but Super League-based striker Leopold Alfonso Otong is with the team.
For the record, Sabahawks Junior is leading the pack in the 13-team Group A standings on 23 points.

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