What a difference one week makes in football.
Last week, it was all doom and gloom in the Selangor camp. With qualification to the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals uncertain, they parted ways with head coach K. Devan.
His assistant P. Maniam took over the reins for their remaining two Group D matches. His task was simple: Make sure Selangor win both the matches to qualify for the knockout stage.
And he did just that, guiding his men to a 4-1 win over Police on Saturday and edging Kuala Lumpur 2-1 on Tuesday.
Now, Maniam has vowed that nothing’s going to stop the Red Giants from going for a record 33rd title, starting with their quarter-final match-up against Perak.
“It’s like coming back from the dead,” said Maniam yesterday.
He’s right. Selangor could have been dead and buried during the penultimate round of group matches on Saturday when T-Team, who topped the group, did Selangor a big favour by holding Kuala Lumpur to a 1-1 draw in Kuala Terengganu. If KL had won that match, Selangor would have been history.
“We have a new lease of life. At one stage we were completely helpless but luckily we made it,” said Maniam, who added that his team would continue to train harder for the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, KL skipper Shahrom Abdul Kalam said “we are crushed” after missing out on a quarter-final spot in the Malaysia Cup.
They should be. After all, they had played attractive football and only lost one match in the group stage.
“It’s not fair that we did not qualify for the quarter-finals ... we only lost one match in the group and we are out of the competition,” said Shahrom.
“I’m disappointed with the result (against Selangor), we were leading and should have won but we panicked towards the end and it cost us.”