Down but not out

October 23, 2014

Pahang need to be at their best to overcome Kedah and book a place in the Malaysia Cup final for the second year running.

The defending champions trail Kedah 3-1 after the away first leg but coach Zainal Abidin Hassan believes it was far from over.

But he insisted, it was tall order and believes the Darul Makmur Stadium crowd will need to provide a boost to the team

“It’s going to be a very difficult game but I have not given up hope. Kedah were in the same situation as us in the quarterfinals but they put out a performance worthy of champions in the second leg against Kelantan,” he said.

“We need to emulate that…. actually we need to be better than that.I have told the players the same things as in previous games, stay disciplined, compact and leave no room for errors.

“I don’t expect Kedah to sit back and defend. If we keep a clean sheet then a two goals will see us through,” said Zainal.

In the quarterfinals, Kedah trailed Kelantan 3-1 after their bout in Kota Baru but emerged q3-0 winners at the Darul Makmur Stadium.

Pahang welcome back defensive rock Damien Stewart and explosive forward Dickson Nwakaeme back into the squad after missing the first leg on injuries.

“They are important players to the team. Both of them will give an added dimension to the team but I need to consider tactical arrangements as if both return to line-up then either Zesh Rehman or Matias Conti will have to stay out.”

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