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Friday, March 08, 2013

Borneo Derby test for resurgent Sabahawks

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: It will be another test of character for the David McCreery’s boys when they take on Sarawak in a Premier League clash at the Sarawak State Stadium in Kuching tonight. The resurgent Sabahawks will be going into the Borneo Derby clash high in confidence following their 3-2 victory over third placed Johor in their last fixture.

 Prior to the home win, they also fought their way back from 3-0 down before nicking a point by holding Police to a three-all draw. And McCreery is seeking for the same kind of determination, spirit, commitment and team play from his charges, before insisting that this will be a difficult game for his team. “Every one of them must play to their best, and play as a team,” the Sabahawks’ head coach said.

 “We are a lot better now, and it is up to the players to keep it going. And I hope what the players have done in the last two matches will bring in greater confidence into the team. “Against Johor, who are third in the League, they showed that they can play, and I’m expecting nothing less than 100 per cent effort from them tomorrow (today),” he added. McCreery said they will still be without his injured skipper Rhys Weston David, which is a blow to the team.

Apart from Rhys, the rest are all up for options. And McCreery has named almost the same first-18 that played against Johor with the exception of Wan Azwari Wan Nor, who is replaced by Mohd Ibnu Kassim. On his first-team squad, McCreery hinted that he is likely to stick to the winning squad against Johor, including Didie Arizal Ibrahim.

 “The young Didie has done well with the team, and I think he should be in the first team again,” he said. McCreery is also expected to stick to his striker-in-chief Koh Traore to spearhead the attack. The Burkina Faso-born Koh has netted five goals for his side in the last two games, including a hat-trick against Police. Leopold Alfonso Otong started alongside Koh in their win over Johor.

 In midfield, Didie will have stand-in skipper Rosdin Wasli orchestrating the team’s engine room, with Shahrudin Yakup at the right of midfield and Alto Linus on the left. At the backline, McCreery is likely to name an unchanged side, with Hardy Parsi and Shahril Faisal at the heart of the defence, with Sumardi Hajalan on the left and Shahrul Azhar Ture on the right. Shahril Sa’ari, who has been quite outstanding for the team, will remain as the No 1 ball stopper.

 Sabahawks are currently lying eighth in the standings on 10 points from three wins, one draw and five defeats, while Sarawak, who are among the only two unbeaten sides thus far, are second with 23 points from seven wins and two draws and have won their last four matches in the League.

1 comment:

  1. No doubt Rys Weston is a good player, very commanding in defence and he is a natural leader. But looking at his history, i saw a list of injuries all the time. I thought to myself if this guy going to play for Sabah im not surprised he will easily get injured. True enough i've seen thrice happen. Any hard knock and he will be out for few games. No matter how good he is, if he is so injury prone i think it is a waste to have him. Out of 10 matches he maybe only played 4 matches. This is "MERUGIKAN" our state team. I would suggest when the transfer window open in April he will be replace for the good of Sabahawks.

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