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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Justin ready to gamble in quest for full points

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Justin Ganai is expected to make a brave change into the first team as he plots victory when they take on bottom of the table Armed Forces in a President’s Cup challenge at the UPM Mini Stadium in Serdang today. With both his top strikers – Zul Mansshah and Rexjeson Pitirus – out, the Sabahawks’ head coach is likely to push midfielder Sabri Sahar to play in the attack alongside Eyo Mathew in search of their first win in eight games.

 Zul Mansshah is sitting out the tie, serving his suspension for yellow card offences while Rex aggravated an injury during their training on Monday. And that is not all, as Justin is also expected to play centreback Rawilson Batiul in the midfield to fill in the vacuum left by Sabri. He will have Fread Filemon Saih as his partner in orchestrating the team’s engine room.

 On the flanks, Justin will have Anwari Md Tujuddin on the left, while Hafizan Jahar on the right. At the backline, Dendy Lowa will be on the left, while Jenius Karib right, with Shazree Ruhif Ismail and Benerlys Raim as the centrebacks. For the record, in the last seven outings, the Sabahawks Juniors only managed to nick five points from a possible 21 after registering five wins and two defeats. The unconvincing show has seen them drop further in the 18-team standings where they are now in 11th with 16 points from three wins, seven draws and three defeats after 13 matches into the season.

 Team manager Datuk Juil Nuatim knows there is no more room for error for his young charges. “We must stop the rot now, or it will be too late. We are facing the bottom team, and we must go all out for the win,” he said yesterday. “We have to work extra hard to try and end the barren run. At the same time, I want the team to focus and make every opportunity count,” he said before adding, “We must avoid any other result apart from victory.”

 “The coaches have been working closely to rectify weaknesses in the squad and I believe things will turn out for the better if the players give their full effort. “It is no easy task for any team to endure six matches without a victory. But as it is, our desire to win is greater now and I believe things will change, hopefully beginning tomorrow (today),” said Juil.

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