Terengganu skipper and defender Marzuki Yusof has only one message for Negri Sembilan hotshot Hairuddin Omar: “No Entry Hai-O”.
The two good friends, who were in Terengganu’s Malaysia Cup winning team in 2001, will be on opposite sides when their teams meet in the Malaysia Cup final at the Shah Alam Stadium today.
Marzuki, regarded as Terengganu’s ‘kereta kebal’ (tank) in defence, said he would set aside their friendship for one night.
“He is my comrade but, come game night, all gloves are off. There is nothing personal and I will do my best to ensure our defence remains solid against Hairuddin and company,” he said.
Marzuki, who has been solid in defence for the Turtles all season, said his height would come in handy against Hairuddin, who is a good header of the ball.
“Hairuddin is very dangerous, especially with his headers, so I will pay close attention to that. I respect him but our defenders will close him down,” he said.
The veteran Marzuki, who is an inspiration to his younger team-mates, said it was make-or-break time for Terengganu as they seek to win the Cup again after 10 years.
“We have trained hard and prepared mentally as well for the final. I told my team-mates not to freeze or feel intimidated on the big stage and that they must stay focused on the job at hand – beat Negri and lift the Cup,” said Marzuki.