Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Sabah's morale sky high after impressive wins

Sabah have stunned even themselves by topping Group A with Perak after two matches with a 2-1 win over four-time champions Kedah at home on Saturday but coach Justin Ganai warned that it is "still long way to go" for a place in the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals.
"And there are still flaws in the team despite the win over Kedah and the scoreless draw with Perak in the first two matches," said Justin.

But Sabah are strongly placed to stretch their unbeaten run to three matches when they take on winless Johor at the Likas Stadium tonight.

Johor go into the fray after losing to Kedah 2-0 and Perak (2-1) in their first two matches and desperately need a win to get back on track.
With Sabah's morale sky high after the win over early group favourites Kedah, Johor have a mountain to climb in Kota Kinabalu. However, an intriguing clash is expected at Likas as the first round matches come to a close today.

Justin is also aware that Johor, with their backs against the wall, could spoil Sabah's party at home as his team have to play all their second round matches away.

"It is good to be in this position ...in fact I did not expect Sabah to be sitting on top at this stage. There are many flaws to be sorted out. Against Kedah, we lost our discipline after taking a 2-0 lead.

"We have to sort this out if we want to advance. The morale of the players is sky high after going unbeaten so far. But we have to improve our overall performance. Johor may have lost both their matches but we could feel the backlash from them."

Sabah have never won the Malaysia Cup although they fell at the final hurdle in 1996, 2002 and 2003.

Johor coach Azmi Mohamad knows that even a draw could end hopes of advancing to the second round after the 2-1 defeat to Perak.

"We have got no choice. Johor are in a desperate situation and our battle for survival starts against Sabah and we will go in fighting to stay afloat."

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