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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Foreign imports doubtful starters

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Sabahawks could be without its foreign duo – Koh Traore and Abdelfatah Safi – when they take on Kuala Lumpur in a Premier League tie at the Likas Stadium today. Head coach David McCreery said both players are doubtful for the clash after getting knocks in their 0-1 defeat to KL Pos Malaysia FC on the road last Friday.

 “Koh got a knock at the back of his knee while Safi is also suffering from a minor injury. We have given them an extra day’s rest for rehabilitation, and I will talk to them tomorrow (today) morning, and if they cannot make it into the team, then we will have to look for other options,” said McCreery, when contacted ahead of their tie against a side that is facing allegations of match-fixing in their 0-5 defeat to KL Sime Darby FC in the last tie.

 McCreery is certain to miss the services of captain Rosdin Wasli, who had six stitches on his forehead after clashing with a KL Pos Malaysia FC player on Friday, while Mohd Fazilidin Khalid too has been ruled out due to a knee problem. That means, he will bring in fresh legs to fill in the vacuum left by the duo. “This will be an opportunity for whoever we name tomorrow to show their strength and capabilities.

If they do well, they stand a good chance of claiming a place in the first team. To a question, McCreery said that they have to go into the battlefield with confidence and with a positive mind. “We have to be confident and go out there to try and get a win. They (Kuala Lumpur) may be languishing second from bottom, but on our part, we just cannot afford to underestimate any team, Kuala Lumpur included,” he said.

 And McCreery also showed his optimism of a desirable result, by pointing out that, they could have settled for at least a draw against KL Pos Malaysia FC, if they were more prolific in front of goal. “We created at least five good opportunities to score goals, but none found the net. They created twice, and scored once. “In football, if you don’t score, you cannot win a game, and whatever works during training will be nothing.

So I hope, tomorrow, they will take their chances well, and get the team back to winning ways,” he added. With Super League promotion already out of reach, the only battle left for the McCreery side is to fight for a place in the Malaysia Cup. For the record, the top four teams in the Premier League gain automatic entry into the country’s most oldest and prestigious competition, while the fifth and sixth placed teams would be involved in play-offs against the 11th and 12th teams in the Super League.

 Sabahawks are among the three teams seen fighting for the two play-off slots, as third placed Johor and fourth placed Kedah are way ahead of the three. Fifth placed Police and sixth placed Sabahawks are level on 24 points, and only separated by goal difference, while KL Pos Malaysia FC is in seventh on 23 points. For the record, this match was initially supposed to be played on May 6, but was postponed to today due to the recent 13th General Election.

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