Zainal Abidin Hassan wants his players to soldier through a demanding schedule and ensure Pahang reaches the AFC Cup knockout rounds and FA Cup final this week.
Fresh from a 1-0 home win over Kelantan in the FA Cup semifinal first leg, the Elephants visit Global FC in the AFC Cup on Wednesday. The FA Cup second leg takes place on Saturday.
“We can go through with a draw but I don’t want to be playing for only a point as it is dangerous,” said Zainal.
“Things could have been easier had we had converted our chances in the FA Cup. Now we are caught. We need players at their best in two matches (AFC Cup and Fa Cup second leg) and it is demanding.”
“Playing in the AFC Cup puts us in a tight schedule but qualifying for the knockout will help us. The players will gain invaluable experience.”
Pahang will progress into the knockout stages with a draw as they hold a three point advantage over Global FC.
Pahang will play Group E winners away if they progress. In Group E, Indonesia’s Persipura Jayapura and India’s Bengaluru FC have qualified for the latter rounds but the groups winner has not been decided.
Persipura, who lead on 13 points, visit Singapore’s Warriors while Bengaluru FC host Maziya of Maldives. Bengaluru have 12 points.