Head coach Zainal Abidin Hassan stressed the importance of going on a winning run starting against Yadanarbon in the AFC Cup in Kuantan on Wednesday.
Pahang need all three points against Yadanarbon or risk being booted out of the competition. With just two matches remaining, Pahang and Philippines’ Global FC are level on four points while Yadanarbon have three.
The Elephants defeated Yadanarbon 3-2 in the first match but Zainal refused to take things easy despite playing at home
“That match is in the past and does not hold any water. I don’t want any of my players thinking it would be easy. They need to concentrate the full 90 minutes. Nothing should be taken for granted.
Then, only R. Gopinathan’s 89th minute winner sealed the match after Pahang allowed them to cancel Dickson Nwakaeme’s early double.
“We need to progress to the latter rounds. If we don’t get full points tomorrow (tonight), the trip to Philippines (against Global FC) will be even trickier,” said Zainal.
The match is the first of several crucial matches in May, which Zainal says will give provide a platform for winning competitions this year.
“All are important matches. Lose one and we may not be able to win trophies,” he said.
“The Super League is entering a crucial stage, the FA Cup is in the semifinals already and the AFC Cup group stage is coming to an end. May is an important month.”
Pahang play a two-legged tie against fellow east coast giants Kelantan in the FA Cup and have tough league matches against Perak and Terengganu in the league next month.