Source : New Sabah Times
3rd Jan 2007
KOTA KINABALU: Rahman Zakaria insists that Sabah will be back to winning ways when they kick start their New Year campaign by taking on Johor Pasir Gudang at the Tawau Sports Complex on Friday.
The Rhino’s team manager believes team spirit is still on a high despite a halt to their winning run by Kuala Lumpur in their previous match and he insists that the 1-1 draw is still a positive result as it brought home a precious point from the game at the KLFA Stadium in Cheras.
“We played two away games and a home match so far this season. And winning four points along the road and without slipping any points away from home is not a bad result at all,” said Rahman.
Sabah kicked off their season by thrashing Armed Forces 4-0 in an away battle before trouncing Proton FC 4-1 at home.
They were held to a draw by Kuala Lumpur despite taking the lead through a goal from defender Wong Sai Kong.
“It is a pity that we were unable to win the match. We conceded the equaliser when Kuala Lumpur was playing with 10 men. It was a sloppy goal, but this happens in football.
“In the match (against Kuala Lumpur), we seemed to be over confident when we were leading. But I hope the players will learn from this outing, They mustn’t take thing easy until the battle is won.
“Although it was not our best of games we still managed to dominate play. But I’m just a bit disappointed with our opponent because of their rough tactics. We were just lucky that none of our players got hurt.
Even the referee seemed not to bother too much on the matter except for in one instance where a Kuala Lumpur player got his marching orders,” Rahman said.
“On a positive note, I’m happy to see that the players were able to handle the pressure. This shows that we can compete under any circumstances,” he added.
Rahman believes the team will be stronger when they sign their third foreign signing.
“We are still on the look out, and hopefully we will get our man soon. We are in no hurry though, because we want to make sure that we will sign a quality player that will help strengthened the team especially in the attacking department,” said Rahman dropping a hint that they are looking for a striker.
So far Sabah has signed two foreign players; Bosnia-Herzegovina defender Dragic Dalibor and an Englishman, attacking midfielder Jamie Phoenix.
Jamie scored in his Premier League debut against Armed Forces, but missed the Rhino’s last two matches, due to injury. He is expected to be back against Johor Pasir Gudang.
Sabah was toppled from the top spot in the 13-team standings by Johor who lead the pack on maximum 9 points after three games.
Sabah is in second on seven. Friday’s kick-off is at 8.45pm.