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Monday, December 22, 2014

Sabah Rhinos far from ready!

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Rhinos are far from ready to face the M-League 2015 challenge. Manager George O’Callaghan admitted his side still needs a lot of hard work to do ahead of the big kick off, which is expected to be on February 7, 2015. The change of date (kick off), which was initially reported to be on January, 16, has now given O’Callaghan more time to right the wrongs in his bid to form a formidable side to mount a strong challenge in the Premier League next season.

 However, for now, things don’t look the way he wants the team to be, as they even struggled to get the better of the gritty State Under-21 provisional squad in a friendly match at the Likas Stadium on Friday night despite romping to a 3-0 victory. O’Callaghan claimed, most of the locals are performing under par, and this is surely a worrying factor. When met after the friendly, O’Callaghan revealed his plan to make one final signing to complete his squad.

 “We are going to sign him because he’s got the experience,” he said, referring to Perak-born R. Surendran, capped three times with the national side. “At the moment, I feel a lot of the local boys are performing under par so it is going to be a counter shock by watching videos for the whole week of last season again today, and the last week.

So people are going to start improving or otherwise their life is going to be like hell for the next 12 months if they don’t produce for Sabah. We are going to make sure they make things work,” he said. Commenting on Rozaimi Abd Rahman, O’Callaghan said the former Harimau Muda A striker needs time to get back to his best.

 “He just needs a bit more time to get back. Today’s (Friday) game was just for him really. So, he got a few touches and he needs to be back on the pitch as much as possible. “We will try to arrange this maybe once a week for him so that we can get him back to fitness and shape. “I think when you watched the match today he just lacks a lot of match sharpness, but he showed the quality that he has and the player that he is on the pitch every now and then.

 So we look forward to getting him back to 100 per cent,” said O’Callaghan. And Rozaimi will get the much needed game time, as Sabah Rhinos are expected to play at least three competitive friendly matches next month. It is believed that Sabah Rhinos will play two friendly matches against Super League side Selangor on January 3 and 5, 2015, before heading to Kuching to take on Sarawak on January 10.

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