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Monday, April 22, 2019

Players showed strong character, attitude – Jelius

New Sabah Times


 KOTA KINABALU: Tambadau concluded their Premier League first-round campaign putting themselves pretty much on the right track in their quest for Super League promotion. In fact, they put up a much-improved show compared to what they had achieved at the same stage last time out. Head coach Jelius Ating agreed to the fact that his side has achieved a slightly better record than last year. However, he insisted that they need to show more consistency in the second round if they harbour hopes of realising their Super League promotion target.

 For the record, Tambadau is the only team to have completed all their 10 first round fixtures. They trounced UKM FC 3-1 in their last first-round fixture at the Likas Stadium on Saturday. With the win, they concluded their first-round campaign recording five wins, three draws and two defeats while last year they registered three wins, five draws and two defeats. The victory also assured them of a top three finish when the opening half of the 11-team league concludes next week.

 The improved record has Jelius believing in their ability to go far in the competition. “Overall, I’m happy with our first round performance. Obviously, there were inconsistencies, but in some games, we did well. We only suffered two defeats while we won five and drew three in the remaining matches. “We have 18 points from the first round and it was already an improvement from what we achieved at the same stage last year.

 “If we continue to make extra efforts and show greater determination in the second round, I’m sure we will be able to collect many more points. “The target this year is to go far in the Premier League and in particular to win promotion to the Super League, which is also the ambition of the (Sabah FA) acting president (Datuk Peter Anthony). “As the head coach of the team, I’m also hoping for that to happen…we will give our best,” said Jelius.

He also praised players for their hard hard work and commitment both in training and actual matches. Commenting on the tie against UKM FC where last year, they lost twice to the same side (3-2 away and 3-1 at home), Jelius said it was a well-deserved win for his boys for working tirelessly throughout the match. Goals from Alto Linus, Dendy Lowa and Rodoljub Paunovic saw Tambadau returned to winning ways.

 Mohd Hafizi Amiruddin equaliser had threatened Tambadau’s night but for the home side, strong characters and attitude on the pitch denied a spirited UKM FC of at least a point. “It was not an easy victory despite the scoreline. UKM are a good team and they kept on piling the pressure on us after going a goal down. “That is why I have only good words for our players because they worked hard and played with determination. I’m happy that they could translate the good attitude in training to the actual games where it mattered most.

 “This is the performance that we expected of them and hopefully the momentum will continue in our future matches. “There are some weaknesses that need to be rectified but we will try to improve in training to ensure we return better for the second round challenge,” he said. Surprisingly, Jelius omitted Luka Milunovic’s name from his team list on Saturday.

 This could be the sign that the Serbian attacker, who is on-loan from Melaka, is heading towards the exit door when the mid-season transfer window opens on May 2. Meanwhile, Tambadau would kick off their second-round challenge by taking on Selangor United FC at the Likas Stadium on May 4.
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