KOTA KINABALU: The Rhinos have been urged to repair the damage to their “wrecked” season in the Premier League challenge.
Rahman Zakaria said things cannot get worse than this or they face possible relegation to the FAM Cup competition.
And if the “unthinkable” does happen, the Rhinos’ team manager said it would leave a black mark, and “I don’t think the players will want this to happen”.
“It is sad to see what is happening to the team. But it is no point to start pointing fingers because it would not do any good to the team.
“It is better for us to spend our time to try to improve and find out what is wrong with the team rather than to cry over spilt milk. “So I really hope the players would fight back and try to redeem our lost pride.
“We are just at the halfway mark and it is still not too late to put things right. And I believe they can do it.
“I hope they will fight not only for the team’s survival, but for their pride. I believe that we can still make a decent finish in the league,” he added.
On Friday, Sabah ended their first round challenge losing 2-0 to Harimau Muda, who they face again on Monday in the second round opener at the Likas Stadium.
The game on Friday, according to flanker Billyton Vun Ket Ming, could have been theirs.
Unfortunately, “we failed to do a good job. We had enough chances to take the game into our own hands, but we just could not finish off the chances that we created. We squandered numerous chances and it is disappointing to see the match end this way.”
Billyton went on to say that in the last quarter of the game, they were forced to play with one man lesser after skipper Rosdin Wasli was stretchered out after getting a knock.
Sabah could not bring in a replacement for Rosdin as they had already used the three substitutes earlier.
Harimau Muda took a 1-0 lead at half time netting the opener from a set piece and scored the second in the dying seconds of injury time.
“We had better chances than them, but in football, you will not win a game if you cannot score and that is what happened to the team on the night.
“But no matter how hard things could be, we will try our best to win the game when we take on them again at home come Monday,” said Billyton.
This has been one of the worst records, if not the worst if one can recall, Sabah had ever had in the M-League challenge.
The defeat has left them dropping a rung down from ninth to 10th in the 13-team standings after the conclusion of the first round campaign after collecting a disappointing 10 points from two wins, four draws and six defeats.
They did win a game against MBJB FC, but that was not counted following the club side’s expulsion from the League for their failure to pay the insurance premium on its players totaling more than RM70,000.
This achievement is something not many of us would have expected, at least by the Rhinos’ standard.
And the way things are going at the moment, the Rhinos are just like a sinking ship and need ultra efforts if they are to save their season.