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Friday, May 03, 2013

Sabah's players need to respond positively to thrashing

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Premier League team must put behind them the shocking defeat to Sime Darby FC last week as they take on NS Betaria today (Friday). The players need to respond to the defeat positively and come back stronger. It may have come as a shock to the team after their first defeat in six matches, but the players should know that it was only three points dropped even though the scoreline was disappointing but it is still the same as losing 1-0.

 They were very unfortunate to have their outstanding central defender Shahril Faizal Ahmad Sharifuddin suspended during the match and Rhys David Weston was also out to make way for French playmaker Abdelfatah Safi. Against a very good team, the untested Sabah defence was cut to shreds by Sime Darby led by their Croatian striker Karlo Primorac.

 And they were a little na•ve in thinking that they could get something out of the game after the goal from Alto Linus and then it all went wrong which eventually led to the last two goals conceded. Coach David McCreery will welcome the return of captain Rosdin Wasli from injury as he needs to sort out the defence in today's match, but it is easier said than done as Shahril still has to sit out for another match while his replacement Hafizulldin Mohd Noor is also out injured.

 As a result, Rosdin may have to start as a central defender to partner Hardy Charles Parsi with Julamri Mohd as left back and Sharul Azhar Ture on the right. Mohd Fazlidin Khalid may be employed as the defensive midfielder to support Abdelfatah while the left and right wing positions will be occupied by Shahrudin Yakup and Alto Linus with the front spearheaded by Koh Traore and Zainizam Marjan.

 One positive aspect from that Sime Darby match was the way they kept playing despite being three goals down in the first half. If the players can continue to show the same attitude and the defence -be more determined and professional, there is a very good chance that the team may get something from the match.

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