Sunday, 28 August 2011

Negeri Sembilan vows to do well in Malaysia Cup

National team midfielder S. Kunanlan has warned Negri Sembilan's rivals that his team will be unbeatable in next month's Malaysia Cup.
Negri, the 2009 champions, have been drawn in Group B along with Super League runners-up Terengganu, Premier League winners PKNS FC and newcomers Sime Darby FC.

"We want to end our season on a high after a lame performance in the Super League and FA Cup. We failed in both competitions because our key players were injured," said Kunanlan yesterday.

"But it is a thing of the past as most of them have returned to training. Of course fitness is an issue for those who have just returned, but I believe they will be 100 per cent fit for the Malaysia Cup. 
"We are in a tough group with Terengganu the favourites. We need to treat PKNS with caution as they have quality in them while Sime Darby will be determined to make an impact as debutants."

The Negri FA was expecting its team to make a huge impact in the Super League after signing on several top players in the pre-season.

But it did not go as planned as their progress in the league and FA Cup was hindered by injuries to key players.

Negri's poor run led to the resignation of Wan Jamak Wan Hassan as coach in March. Former national Under-23 coach Azraai Khor Abdullah was then hired but even he failed to lift Negri in Super League.

However, their Malaysia Cup campaign does look promising with the return of the Abdul Radzak twins -- Mohd Zaquan Adha and Aidil Zafuan and centre-back Norhafiz Zamani Misbah.

Zaquan and Norhafiz have both featured in recent friendly matches while Aidil, a centre-back, has started light training upon recovering from an ankle injury.

Kunanlan, who has only scored one goal this season, has been told by coach Azraai to be more aggressive in the Malaysia Cup.

"I have tried hard to score goals but luck has not been kind to me. At times I came really close but I just can't put the ball into the back of the net.

"I admit that my finishing has not been satisfactory and I really wish to address this weakness. I'm looking forward to improving on my finishing."

Negri, who signed defender Munir Amran on loan from Pahang, will kick off their Malaysia Cup campaign against PKNS at the MBPJ Stadium on Sept 6.

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