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Friday, April 10, 2015

Rhinos to tighten up defence

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Rhinos are expected to display a much better defensive performance when they take on Selangor PKNS in the Premier League match tonight (Friday) at the Likas Stadium. Head coach Mike Mulvey said on Thursday that they have spent the whole week working hard to rectify the weaknesses after the 3-4 loss to T-team in their previous game, with all four goals conceded from set pieces.

 "As I said after the game there was some good quality football played but there was also a lot of naivety in our defending especially from set-pieces. "So we took notice to improve on that and we have been working on our defensive structure since. I have given some information to the players on how to defend better during the game in general play, and we also worked on set-pieces throughout the week."

 He said at the end of the day it is all about individuals and their own responsibilities in the team. "What I asked every player to do (after the T-team game) was to go away and look at the mirror and have a look at yourself to see if you could have done any better or differently.

 "The first person I looked at was myself and I expect other players to look at themselves as well so I am expecting a better defensive display tomorrow." Sabah's defence tonight however, will have to do without import player Abdulaye Faye who is yet to recover full fitness according to Mike. "He isn't fit enough. He is an important player for us and to risk him would not be the wisest thing to do.

 We are hopeful that another week and he will be ready." As for Joel Chianese, he hoped the young Australian who scored a brace on his debut will continue his good form. "He played very well in the last game despite only days with the team and we hope he will continue to play well." 

He added that there is a slim chance that ace striker Rozaimi Abd Rahman who has yet to see action for the Rhinos this season may finally be on the team list tonight. "Rozaimi is obviously a player who has got talent. But we have to put it into perspective because he has been out for a while. "

He spent three weeks working with the National Under-23s which is good for us and he is now spending the full week training with us. "He has got to the stage where he played the full 45 minutes for FAM Under-23s, and the report we got back was quite strong so he is looking at the possibility of being on the bench."

 The coach also urged the fans to continue to give their support to the players. "Our home games are very important for us. I have witnessed excellent support for the team in our home games. " I saw the marching band in our last home game which was fantastic – every player gets a great buzz out of that and wants to reward the fans with a great performance full of heart and quality football. "So I ask our fans to continue to lend their support to the players and I promise we will do everything possible to send them home happy."

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