Selangor coach credits players and former coach after making quarter finals
Chants of "P. Maniam, P. Maniam" rang out at Shah Alam Stadium on Tuesday after the caretaker coach guided Selangor into the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals in a scene far removed from events just 10 days prior.
Selangor's come-from-behind 2-1 win over Kuala Lumpur secured second spot in Group D and was Maniam's second consecutive win in charge since replacing K. Devan.
Devan resigned after receiving abuse from Selangor fans in the aftermath of a 2-1 home defeat to Kuala Terengganu T-Team, which threatened to derail their bid for a 33rd Malaysia Cup title.
Maniam, however, refused to take credit for Selangor's revival as he praised his players' effort in overturning a 1-0 half-time deficit to take their place in the last eight.
"I did not win this game, the players did. They gave it their best on the pitch and credit should go to them. They gave 200 per cent commitment and play with great spirit.
"We played possession football and although we made mistakes in the first half, we improved in the second half and played much better," said Maniam.
Shahrom Kalam put KL ahead with a header in the 37th minute but his Selangor counterpart, rightback Razman Roslan brought the home team level in the 65th with a fine volley.
Amri Yahyah turned match hero as Selangor broke KL's resistance with a 76th-minute header to book a quarter-final tie against Group A winners Perak.
When asked if Selangor can go all the way to win the title, Maniam said: "Let's not talk about that yet. We have a quarter-final against Perak and we are only focused on that now.
"We have 10 to 12 days to prepare for the next match and in between we have to play the Sultan of Selangor's Cup match (against Singapore on Saturday).
"Then we will turn our attention to the quarter-final with full commitment," added Maniam, who guided Selangor to the Malaysia Games final in Malacca last year.
While Selangor appear to have turned a corner, Maniam felt that they were also capable of qualifying for the quarter-finals if Devan had stayed on.
"I believe Devan is one of the best coaches around and I learnt a great deal from him. I thank the management for giving me this chance and I leave it to them to decide on the future," he said.