Pahang strives under pressure and it is that pressure Zainal Abidin Hassan is banking on to put the Elephants in the FA Cup final.
The Tok Gajah squad host Kelantan in the semifinal first leg at the Darul Makmur Stadium on Saturday. The match comes after Pahang topped the Super League standings with a win over Perak last Tuesday.
Zainal refuted suggestions the pressure is off the team.
“There is always pressure… whether you are at the top or bottom. Only that the pressure differs,” he said.
“Anyway this is the FA Cup and a different ball game. So, while the Super League table gives us a good sleep but none of that matters against Kelantan.
“We want to defend the title and they want to win trophies again. It’ll be tough but we need an advantage for the second leg as playing in Kota Baru will be tougher.”
Zainal also praised the attitude of his players.
“They are happy and enjoying their football. They also dealth with pressure at the start of the season very well.
“Now I need two good results in the coming matches,” said Zainal.
Pahang play Global FC in the AFC Cup. A draw will suffice for Pahang to join group winners South China in the knockout rounds.