KOTA KINABALU: The Rhinos are not willing to be seen as mere passengers when the Malaysia Cup kicks off on Wednesday.
Instead they are determined to make amends after a disappointing campaign in the just concluded Premier League.
However, Rahman Zakaria admits it is not going to be an easy battle especially when they have the likes of reigning champions Kedah in the Group B challenge.
The Rhinos’ team manager said Johor FC, Penang, Police and Kuala Lumpur will also not be easy opponents.
Nevertheless, he added they will surely try to do their level best and make their presence felt in the country’s oldest competition.
“It will be the same faces that will spearhead our challenge,” said Rahman, indicating that they are not signing any new players.
“There may be two or three players from the Reserve League that we might use for the Malaysia Cup, but their presence would be for exposure purposes.
“There is nothing wrong with the current players. We believe they can deliver. So now I really hope they prove that they are able to play and compete with the other teams in the competition,” said Rahman.
“We have several players who attended trials with the team during the break, but none really impress us. We also have a few foreign players attending trials, but the way I look at it, we may be sticking to the same players,” he said, referring to Bosnia-Herzegovina Dragic Dalibor, Brazilian Andre Scotti Ossemer and Georgian Kokhrei Dze Irakli.
To a question, Rahman said they have set a modest target for the team.
“I think we are not asking too much from the players. We are eyeing a place in the quarterfinals and would take it from there,” said Rahman, while calling for all out support from the fans in helping them realise their mission.
Sabah need to finish among the top two in the group in order to gain automatic entry into the quarterfinals.
They would also still march into the next round if they can finish among the best two third-placed teams in the three-group competition.
Sabah kick off their campaign by taking on Penang at the Likas Stadium.