IT was a fantastic way to finish off the first half of the Super league after some initial hiccups, but the real battle begins for Pahang in the return league fixtures this Saturday starting with T-Team at home.
Pahang defeated T-Team 2-0 on Saturday in Kuala Terengganu in their final first round fixtures to be current leaders in the Super League table after 11 matches with 22 points, but Selangor and Terengganu have a game in hand.
Selangor on the other hand, will begin their second round fixtures ahead of rest playing on Tuesday instead of Saturday when they play T-Team at home.
Pahang coach Zainal Abidin Hassan after taking over from Ron Smith has done well to see his team draw one and win four consecutive matches.
Selangor’s three losses early this season include against Selangor (1-0), Terengganu (2-0) and Sime Darby (1-0). They drew against Police (1-1) and Kelantan (2-2).
“It is a great way to finish first half of the league in being top of the table. But as far as performance is concerned, we still have a long way to go,” said Zainal.
“While the players have worked hard for the results, there have been times we have been unlucky and in our losses could have done much better.”
Many a time, Pahang have been saved by their set-pieces which has resulted in some crucial goals for their victory.
Zainal said that he has spent time on the set-pieces because for him it is 70 percent goal chances.
“At times, when we have found it difficult to find field goals, our set-pieces have rescued us.”
Zainal said that he expects the second half of the League to be even keener and tougher.
“The League is far from over. I expect the battles to be more intense as teams will also be doubling their efforts to do better and aim for the title. Besides the points between the teams are close. Even the bottom placed teams have a chance of moving up if they do well.”
Zainal said that there is no weak team in the team.
“In fact, I am surprised that teams like Sarawak, Armed Forces, Sime Darby, T-Team and even Perak are at the bottom half of the table.”
Zainal said that Pahang will indeed have to double their efforts especially with many teams coming for the scalp.
“It is going to be a very challenging second half of the league and our true character will be at test.”