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Sunday, January 13, 2013

McCreery remains optimistic despite team’s first defeat

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: David McCreery wants his charges to keep working hard and fight for their lives in the Premier League challenge 2013. The Sabahawks head coach said it is still too early to make any verdict on his young side, insisting that as long as the team continue or rather are willing to work hard, they will do okay this season.

 “This is a brand new team and we have yet to really gel well together,” said McCreery when contacted yesterday. “But for now, it is important for us to keep working hard and try to improve on every aspect of our game. “If we can do that, I’m quite optimistic we will get desirable results in our upcoming matches,” McCreery added.

 “It is also important for us to keep the spirit high in the team, and on the part of the players, they must not feel dejected for whatever consequences the team are facing now. “It is only two games into the season, and they must keep trying and fighting. “They must understand that this whole new team and they must put extra effort in getting the team to gel well together.

 After two matches into the season, the Sabahawks registered a win and a defeat. They won 2-1 against KL SPA Putrajaya FC in the opener before bowing out 1-3 to KL Sime Darby in their first away tie on Friday. Despite the defeat, McCreery said they team have shown some improvement in the game. “We started off well, and managed to take the lead, before conceding just before half time,” said McCreery.

 “We played a lot better than in our previous game in the first half, but could not maintain the performance in the second half. “Even then, we had a few more chances of scoring, but unfortunately, we could not translate it into goals. In the 68th minute, Sime Darby scored their second through import signing Karlo Primorac before an own goal from Sumardi Hajalan 10 minutes later diminished Sabahawks’ hope for at least a draw.

“It is disappointing for not taking at least a point, but the boys have tried hard, which is good to see,” said McCreery. McCreery was also delighted to see his leading striker Koh Traore break his duck in the game. “It is good to see him score his first goal, and was close to scoring his second,” said McCreery.

 “Young Didie (Arizal Ibrahim) also did very well, so as Ibnu (Muhd Kassim). Our midfield looked much better, but I think we were missing Rhys (David Weston – out with hamstring problem) … his command and leadership on the field. McCreery said that it is not easy to take three games in just seven days, before insisting that they have to live with it.

 “Our first game was last Monday (Jan 7) before the Sime Darby tie (Jan 11) and our next game is on Monday (Jan 14), and we have only Sunday (today) to prepare the team. “We will try to do as much as we could before our next game,” added McCreery.

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