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Friday, January 11, 2013

Sabahawks target second consecutive win

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabahawks take on the road for the first time this new season hoping to keep their winning momentum going. They face one of the pre-tournament favourites, KL Sime Darby FC at the Selayang Municipal Council Stadium in an afternoon showdown today. Despite struggling to a 2-1 opening home victory over KL SPA Putrajaya FC on Monday, the team spirit is pretty high.

 And David McCreery remains upbeat of another positive result. The Sabahawks head coach said they will be looking for nothing other than to return home smiling. “We are going there to try to get a good result,” said McCreery when contacted yesterday. But McCreery will have to do without his defender Rhys David Weston due to injury.

 “I’m bringing in Shahril (Faizal) for Rhys. He did well when he replaced Rhys the other day, and I believe that we still look strong at the back. McCreery said Rhys is expected to be out of action for at least two weeks. “At first I thought he was having a problem with his ankle, but it has been confirmed as a hamstring injury. Sometimes a player recovers quicker and I think he (Rhys) will be out for two weeks.

 “I’m glad to see the boys have been working hard, and that is exactly what we have asked them to do. As long as they are willing to work hard, there will always be a chance for us to get something out of any game. “We look very good at the moment. It seems that everyone is trying to do better this time,” said McCreery. 

He also hinted of sticking to his winning combination against KL Sime Darby FC, who drew one-all with Johor in the opener, with the exception of Rhys. “I’ve not decided yet. I have to wait until our light training today (yesterday). I need to see if everyone is okay. “Bunchoi (Shahrudin Yakup) took a knock the other day, and I need to know whether he is okay for the game.

I need to see how he copes with it, and if he is fine, then obviously, it is going to be the same players. “Apart from that, the rest of the players are all up for selection,” said McCreery. Against KL SPA Putrajaya, McCreery deployed Shahril Sa’ari as his ball stopper ahead of former national custodian Mohd Syamsuri Mustafa while Rhys, skipper Rosdin Wasli, Sumardi Hajalan and two-goal hero Shahrul Azhar Ture made up his four-man defence.

 In midfield, he had Mohd Farid Saibun at the left, Shahrudin Yakup on the right while Ibnu Muhd Kassim and Sabri Sahar at the centre, with Burkina Faso striker Koh Traore and Khairul Izwan Khalid leading the attack. Besides Shahril, Zainizam Marjan and Wan Mohd Aliff also featured in the victory.

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