Kota Kinabalu: Rhinos stand-in coach Mohd Asyraaf Fong Abdullah is satisfied with the team’s performance, noting good improvements in their matches since taking charge of their training regime earlier this month.
“They’ve shown that they now can work better as a team and that they can create better chances in front of goals,” he said.
Asyraaf said his first objective, since coming on as stand-in coach earlier this month, has been achieved and that he will now focus on his next objective.
“When I took on the role as stand-in coach my first objective was to ensure that the team stays in the Premier League next season. That was my first and most important objective, to ensure they maintain their spot for next season.
“My objective now is to take the team to the top eight in the standings. For this, I will need the players to work hard because success can only be enjoyed and achieved when hard work is put in their effort,” he said.
Asyraaf told Express Sports this when contacted Saturday.
He said the players need to continue to work hard for the next success and the next win and that there is no room complacency among players.
“If we want to finish in the top eight we will all have to work hard. That means players need to step up their discipline and work harder in order for the team to get the next win,” said Asyraaf.
He noted that the players have been making attempts at goal from outside the penalty box and are being bolder in making deliveries from the sides.
“These are some of the notable improvements that I can see from our games. We saw few of these in recent matches and plenty of it in Friday’s fixture against Sarawak,” said Asyraaf.
The Rhinos won big against the Crocs (4-1) at the Likas Stadium here Friday night, with Zaykiel Leong scoring twice and missing several opportunities to get a hattrick, while Azrul Ejati Damsah became a super substitute when he scored within a minute of replacing Zaykiel in the 81st minute.
Sabah’s other goal came in the dying minutes of the match, courtesy of Morris Jagan’s own goal, while the other goal came from Md Hendra Bakri in the 26th minute, to cancel Zaykiel’s opening goal, which he scored a minute before the equaliser.
Having noted some positive improvements in the team’s performance, Asyraaf also pointed out a weakness in the team that seemed worrying.
“I noticed that whenever we are leading, we tend to give away our advantage. This is worrying to me. It seems that whenever we are leading we tend to play defensive as if we wanted to just hold on to that advantage and not score more goals.
“This has happened in the last three matches so we have to address this issue. However, overall I see more positive development from the team than anything else and I am pleased and satisfied with their performance,” he said.