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Thursday, January 02, 2014

Milo: Bring back the Likas roar!

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Seslija Milomir is determined to bring back the Likas roar. The former Sabah star, who is now the head coach of the State Premier League side, said it is not impossible to make Sabah one of the top sides in the nation once again. However, he insists, for that to happen, it cannot be done alone, but he needs cooperation from all parties.

 Yesterday, Milo declared he has marvelous support from his employer, the Sabah FA. He said he has been working on the team without any interference whatsoever from anyone from within the association. “I’m working with no interference whatsoever from anyone. “The team management has been superb. They have been supporting me and the team all the way.

The welfare of the team is also well taken care of. And after getting all the much needed backing from his employer, which he says allows him to do wonders on the team, Milo is turning to the Sabah fans, who he described as the best fans he had ever come across, to give him all the support to realise their common goal of bringing home football glory to the Land Below the Wind, which he once achieved with the State side during his playing days where Sabah clinched the Premier League crown, which was then the country’s top league, for the first time in 1996.

 But gone were those days as since then, Sabah has been seen struggling to compete against the best in the country. And we are in the second tier of the national league after the Super League. “Without the fans, football is zero (nothing),” Milo said. “During my playing days (with Sabah), they (fans) have always cheered me and gave me extra motivation to work harder even when I was not having my best day. “Sabah has the best fans I have ever known, and every player must be proud of donning Sabah colours.

 “So I believe that if everyone works together, I’m optimistic we can make it into the top five in the nation. But of course we need to do it step by step. It is impossible to do it overnight. Milo said this at a press conference in the presence of the FA team management committee chairman Joehari Datuk Ayub, team manager Rahman Zakaria, executive secretary Hasbullah Yahya and representatives from the at the FA’s office in Likas yesterday.

 Milo added that with the fans’ support, it can help the team to even overcome a better side than them. “I hope the fans from throughout Sabah … Sandakan, Tawau, Keningau, and so on do come and support us when we play our home matches at the Likas Stadium,” he said. “I believe that, if we are together and work towards our goal as one big family, we can do it. Sarawak is a fine example. They (Sarawak) have been getting overwhelming support from their fans.

 Milo said that he will not make any promises, but assured the fans his side will give it their level best in getting the best of results in all their matches. “The ball is round, and no one will know what is going to happen, but I can guarantee that the players will fight for every ball, because we will be playing aggressive football.

 To a question on who among his players would shine in the upcoming season, Milo refused to single out any names, insisting that they will work towards glory with collective efforts from all the players. “I don’t want to make any stars because to me every one of them is important to the team. We will do it collectively. “I will also give every one of them a chance to show their potential and expose their quality.

 To another question on how Sabah youngsters such as Sabri Sahar, Rexjeson Pitirus and Dendy Lowa are doing in the team, Milo said he was quite happy with their development, before admitting that they have a lot to learn to be better players. “They have lots of ups and downs, and that is one of the reasons why we need as many competitive matches as in order for our young players to learn and grow and become better players. “They have got potential, and we must give them enough time,” he said.

 He revealed that at the moment, all of his charges are injury free, except for Zainizam Marjan and Wan Mohd Hoesne, who are still recuperating from injuries. Milo also said that he is also likely to give national U-23 striker Rozaimi Abdul Rahman some playing time when they take on Sarawak on January 4. “He will join the team on January 2, and of course we will play him, but we don’t know whether he starts the game or comes in, in the second half,” said Milo while praising Rozaimi for showing his loyalty to the State side despite receiving numerous lucrative offers elsewhere.

 “I hope Sabah players who play for other teams come back and don Sabah colours in 2015,” said Milo.

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