KOTA KINABALU: Sabah take on Police in their final Premier League first-round fixture gunning for victory at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi, Negeri Sembilan tonight.
They will face the same team again on Friday at the Likas Stadium in the second-round opener, also hoping for another three points before they face their defining moment by taking on the top six teams in the league.
Six points from the two clashes are all what they need as anything less than that would see them in a scenario of fighting a losing battle in their quest for Premier League glory or Super League promotion.
And Sabah coach and manager Gary Phillips is fully aware of that.
He realises how important victory over Police is for the team.
For that, he is demanding nothing but the best from his side, as he believes that back-to-back victories over Police could help instill confidence and spirit into the team, which will be just the perfect tonic to boost his squad ahead of their battle against the league leaders KL Felda United, who are their next opponents.
While not wanting to think of what lies ahead for the team, Gary said what matters now in his head are the two back-to-back clashes against the Police.
“Obviously, in the next four or five weeks we will face difficult fixtures. We have big games coming up, but for now my focus is the Police game.
“We take on them away and then at home, and we will try our best to get something out of the two matches,” said Gary, prior to their departure to Negeri Sembilan yesterday.
The Aussie hinted that he is likely to make minor changes to his winning side that edged KL Pos Malaysia 1-0 at the Likas Stadium last Friday.
He said there is a need to bring in one or two fresh legs into the team, as he admitted that playing no competitive friendly matches during the recent one-month break, has affected the team’s momentum.
After the two clashes Sabah take on league leaders KL Felda United FC (May 3) on the road before playing home to second placed Selangor PKNS on May 7.
After that, Sabah will travel to Melaka taking on the National Under-19 squad – Harimau Muda – at Hang Tuah Stadium on May 14.
Upon their return, they take on third-placed Armed Forces at the Likas Stadium on May 17.
For the record, Sabah are currently in fourth on 19 points, six behind KL Felda United. PKNS are in second on 22 while Armed Forces 21. Harimau Muda are in fifth on 17 points Police are on 15 points, level with Sarawak, but they stay in seventh behind sixth placed Sarawak, who have a better goal average.