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Friday, February 22, 2013

Sabahawks must stop the rot now

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: The ailing Sabahawks are left with no choice, but to beat the odds when they take on Police in a Premier League tie at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka today. They have lost their last four ties, and the rot must stop now, otherwise, they may find it a little too late to put things right. Based on their current form, this is as good as an impossible mission for the State side.

 They even lost to an amateur side KL Pos Malaysia FC 1-2 in their last home game, and are still without a win on the road after three tries. They lost to KL Sime Darby (1-3), Kuala Lumpur (2-3) and bottom of the table UiTM FC (0-2) in their previous outing away from home. Their home record is also far from convincing, winning twice to lowly KL SPA Putrajaya FC (2-1) and NS Betaria (2-1), and losing twice to Kedah (0-2) and KL Pos Malaysia FC (1-2).

 Failing to get points from this tie will confirm their stay in the Premier League next season. Police, on the other hand, is a wounded side. They have slipped to fifth in the standings after losing their last two fixtures – to Sarawak (0-1) and Johor (1-2). They had a flying start to their season, registering four straight wins against NS Betaria (5-0), Kuala Lumpur (4-0), Kedah (2-0) and UiTM FC (2-0) before being held to a one-all draw by KL Pos Malaysia FC followed by the two defeats.

 They surely want to make amends and put their challenge back on the right track. “This will be a match where we must try to redeem our pride. We have to go with a positive attitude, and it is up to the players to show the people in Sabah they can win,” said Sabahawks head coach David McCreery when contacted yesterday.

 His assistant team manager Yahya Kassim is also sharing the same sentiment, insisting that they must stop the rot in order to avoid dropping further in the standings. “We will try our best and work hard and in search for victory,” Yahya said. Yahya was spot on in wanting the team to stop the rot.

 After this clash, they take on the top two sides in the standings, starting with the home game against Johor (March 1), followed by Sarawak away (March 8), before the League takes a two-week break. They resume their challenge against Perlis on March 29, which will be the last first round tie.

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