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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Justin forced to experiment

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: There will be drastic tactical changes in the Sabah President Cup squad as coach Justin Ganai attempts to end their dry run in the competition away against ATM today (Thursday). The team is currently in a standstill, failing to win any of their last seven matches with five draws, two defeats and managing to score only two goals.

 They are now in 11th position in the 18-team league with 16 points after 13 matches played. With both first choice strikers, Rexjeson Pitrus and Zul Manshah Aling, ruled out for the trip through injury and suspension respectively, the veteran coach has no choice but to make the change with Eyo Mathew to start the match and Sabri Sahar as his striking partner.

 Justin broke the news to the players during the team's training session on Tuesday. He said the players had so far failed to utilise Sabri Sahar's ability to hold the ball and the subsequent passes from him and most of the time he was in no-man's land with no support on hand. Therefore, he reckoned it is better to try him out as a striker instead and hopefully he will be able to produce the goods and with the fouls that he is getting regularly during a match, the team may get penalties as well.

 The experimentation also comes timely as Sabah are facing the weakest team in the competition who are languishing at the bottom of the league with only six points after one win three draws and nine losses. There will also be a change in the midfield department with Rawilson Baitul who has given a solid performance for the team as a central defender since the start of the season will move up to play as a defensive midfielder with Fread Filemon Saih taking over Sabri's role as a playmaker while the flanks will feature the familiar faces of Hafizan Jahar and Anwari Mohd Tajuddin.

 Justin also has a trump card in livewire Umareng Bacok if either of the two flankers fail to perform the task as the Sandakan lad has just returned to the team after tending to his mother for the past few weeks. Captain Dendy Lowa will lead the back line as left back with Jenius Karib on the right while Shazree Ruhif Ismail who has just returned from injury will partner Benerlys Raim in the centre of defence while in-form Robson Rendy Rining will again man the post ahead of Endre S. Tipay.

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