Kota Kinabalu: Sabah is capable of taking on any team in the Premier League and is on the right track of gaining Super League promotion.
These were the words of Sabah Head Coach and Manager Gary Phillips after seeing his team put on an outstanding performance against Selangor PKNS on Friday.
Sabah scored two goals in each half to claim the three points, which helped put them back in second spot in the league standings.
“Friday night was the best performance I’ve seen from the team so far.
I am very proud with their performance…the first 10-20minutes of the game saw an outstanding performance from the players.
“They created lots of chances and played the game with a high tempo.
Of course we couldn’t maintain that tempo through out the game…we had to slow it down a bit and that gave our opponents the chance to attack,” said Phillips.
But thanks to the line of defenders, who did their job superbly, Sabah managed to brush off any goal threats and maintained a clean sheet.
Phillips gave credit to all his players for the great game they played.
“The second half was totally our game. The players all did very well.
Zainizam (Marjan) showed his ability to be an excellent player.
“He’s the kind of player that thinks like a footballer, he has a footballer’s brain. And despite being our most senior player he did very well and showed that he can play good football,” said Phillips.
He was also happy to see all his other senior players performing well on the night.
Overall, Phillips was delighted to note the improvement the team is showing from game to game.
He said it was the ability of the players to manage pressure and still perform well that the team is able to enjoy the position it is in now.
“Now Sabah can compete against any team. That night we played in front of home fans against a strong opponent. It is not easy to play in this situation.
“Pressure will usually get the better of players in this situation but our players managed to control that and handle the pressure,” said Phillips.
He believes, based on last night’s (Friday night) performance and on other recent developments, Sabah is capable of finishing in second place and getting the promotion into the Super League.
Phillips said even the Sabah FA management is happy with the teams performance and current position in the standings.
He has given the team a two-day break to enjoy the victory and will return to formulate strategies on how to tackle the coming two games, which will be against Harimau Muda (away on May 14) and Armed Forces (home May 17).
“Getting the maximum points from these next two games will be a giant step of success for us,” said Phillips.