Henry expects improvements against Police
Published on: Tuesday, June 18, 2019
By: GL Oh

KOTA KINABALU: Tambadaus’ team manager Henry Saimpon (pic) believes his players who were off colour in the 1-0 win over Negeri Sembilan on Saturday will bounce back in their away match against Police at Hang Jebat Stadium, Melaka on Wednesday.

“It was definitely a below-par performance from the players against Negeri Sembilan on Saturday.

“I am sure they can play much better than that and this is what I expect them to do against Police at their home ground this Wednesday,” he said on Monday.

He also warned against complacency as their opponents whom they have beaten 3-1 in the first round match have shown vast improvement in recent matches.

They even upset JDT II 1-0, thrashed Sarawak 6-2 and in their last match they edged UKM FC II 1-0 following a 1-0 loss to Terengganu FC II.

“It won’t be easy to beat Police who are currently also on a good run. They have won three of their last four matches and managed to score a total 10 goals as well.

“It serves as a warning to the players and they must not take the match for granted.”

Sabah on the other hand, found it hard to get onto the score sheet with only three goals to show in the last four matches.

The only positive aspect was that they managed to win three and drew once and got to maintain a clean sheet in the process.

“Without conceding any goals since the start of the second round was a very positive sign even though we were unable to score more. What was important is to win the game and grab the three points.

“I want the team to avoid dropping points so that we could maintain our momentum towards achieving our target of playing in the Super League next season.”

However, he acknowledged the team may find it tough against Police with the loss of skipper Rawilson Batuil who is suspended for the match and also the next home game against Sarawak after receiving his sixth yellow card of the season on Saturday.

“Without Jipun (Rawilson) will be a loss for the team, but I believe Jelius and his coaching staff will have something up their sleeve. The starting line-up will only be known later today and I believe we have able replacements with the likes of Mafry Balang and Randy Baruh who are all capable to carry out the task,” he added. 

Meanwhile, the Sabah Under-21 squad went down 1-0 to Kedah in the President Cup Group A second round match at Likas Stadium on Monday afternoon.

Coach Justin Ganai who had earlier worried on the players’ match fitness with the lack of preparation following the recent festive celebrations saw the team struggle to make any headway at the start.

They were unable to play their usual game and it was the visiting team coached by Azraai Khor Abdullah that looked more likely to score first and they did it in the 25th minute through a solo effort by Muhd Zhafir Yusoff who cut in from the left to put the ball into the net after beating the Sabah defence.

The home side played better late in the second half. They were able to have more ball possession, however,  with their wayward passes, they were unable to pose any serious threat to the Kedah defence and the score remained 1-0 to Kedah until the final whistle.

The loss was the team’s fifth of the season. They are currently on 14 points with four wins and two draws.

Their next game is away to Selangor on Thursday (June 20). 


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