KOTA KINABALU: Gary Phillips is not a quitter and he remains optimistic his side will get back onto the right path of the road in their fight for survival in the Malaysian Super League 2011 challenge.
The Sabah coach and manager still believes in the ‘Sabah Boleh’ slogan and has set his sights on notching their second win of the season when they take on KL Felda United FC at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras tonight.
Sabah have not tasted victory since their 1-0 home win over Kedah last February 12. They drew twice against Terengganu (0-0/away) and Pahang (2-2/away).
Their remaining ties ended in defeats, including the 1-0 home defeat to Johor FC. They also lost to Kuala Lumpur (1-0/away), Negeri Sembilan (1-0/away) with the latest one being the tie against Terengganu’s T-Team where they lost 0-3 away last Saturday.
Despite the defeat, Gary said the match has given them some preparations after the long break.
He expects his side will be better prepared against Felda.
“Having played the game against T-Team, which was our first game after a four-week break, we will be better prepared this time,” Gary said, through short messaging system (SMS) yesterday.
He added that against T-Team, they could have at least settled for a draw had luck smiled on their side.
“Even at 3-0 down, we should have finished 4-4. It helps if you take your chances. We got caught sleeping because we missed the hard edge competition.
And against Felda, Gary is praying his strikers will start doing their job.
“Sabah can do it … boleh bah! With focus in front of goal, there is still a good chance for us to win.
“We played a tough game on Saturday, which at least provided some spirit for the players to press on,” he added.
He also hinted on making some change to his first team squad, but it will be a minor one.
After tonight’s match, Sabah will head home to prepare for their date with Perak on Saturday, followed with another game against Perlis three days later.
April brings big challenges for not only Sabah but all Super League teams as there are nine games in total including the one tonight and the previous one against T-Team.
After hosting Perlis, Sabah will head on out to meet Kelantan in Kota Bharu on April 16 before clashing with Selangor in Shah Alam on the 19th.
They will host Selangor on April 23 before making a date with Terengganu, also at the Likas Stadium three days later.
Their April campaign will end on the road in Johor Bahru against Johor FC on April 30.
For the record, Sabah are currently second from the bottom in the 14-team standings. They have only five points from one win and two draws, while KL Felda United, who are also one of this season’s newcomers, are doing much better in fourth place.
They are currently on 14 points from four wins and two draws.