KOTA KINABALU: Gary Phillips insists that they need to be more enthusiastic and put more passion into the game if they harbour any hopes of luring back the fans to the Likas Stadium.
The Sabah coach cum manager wasn’t too pleased by the second half performance his chargers gave in the 2-0 win over lowly Penang USM FC on Friday.
They may have tried, but are not trying hard enough to impress, Gary said.
And the coach insists passion and enthusiasm were lost in the second half.
“If you are a fan and paying RM10 or RM7 … you will not comeback if you see a bad performance,” said Gary, adding that this is something to do with the players’ mentality.
“You need to have the right mentality and attitude, in and during the game. You need to be more enthusiastic and know how to kill the game right away when there is an opportunity.
“We must learn how to keep them out and get them (opponent) out of the contest,” said Gary while admitting they didn’t have that killing edge.
“We dominated, but we need to get that killer instinct,” he stressed.
And what frustrated Gary is that he knows his charges can play a lot better than what they showed against USM FC.
“We were good in our passes, played cute and tidy football at times and now it is a matter of being a little more consistent and putting in a little more effort to get a positive outcome.”
Nevertheless, Gary is not taking the credit away from the boys after all they rebounded from the 0-2 defeat to Sarawak which was a massive boost for them
As the old saying goes ‘ugly win is still a good win’, Gary said it was great to bounce back so quickly, regardless of how it has been achieved and by how many goals.
“It is good for the team, because we have an important game on Monday,” Gary said.
Furthermore, he added: “I was really happy with the three points. After the Sarawak game, obviously this is the kind of reason we need. I’m also happy with the clean sheet and the only negative aspect in the game was the yellow card on Reithauddin (Ag Embran).
Despite the sluggish second half show, Gary said it was another game full of chances and insists that if these chances were converted into goals the night could have ended 12-0!
Although Sabah faded away in the second half, there was never any sign that they were going to lose the game.
Sabah started the game brightly and managed to score two goals inside the first quarter of the game with Mohd Farid Ideris making his return into the first team from suspension with the 4th minute opener heading a Julamri Muhammad’s cross.
Then Zainizam Marjan, who missed Sabah’s last game against Sarawak, added the second on the 14th minute, what seemed to be an own goal by USM FC’s Muhd Azizan Md Arsad.
However, the match official credited Zainizam with the goal.
With the three points, Sabah remain in fifth in the 12-team standings on 13 points–nine points behind leaders KL Felda United, who notched a slim 1-0 victory over second placed Selangor PKNS, who now leads Sabah by six points.
Armed Forces, who defeated KL POS Malaysia 4-1, is in third with 15 points followed by Harimau Muda, who dropped a rung down after succumbing to 1-4 defeat to Police, in fourth on 14 points.
The victory saw Police moved back to sixth placing on 12 points.
Sabah is on the road to Melaka Monday and Gary hinted there might be a minor reshuffle in his squad.