Friday, 20 January 2012

Kelantan to give more chance to foreign players

Kelantan will not be hasty in deciding the future of their foreign signings.

Manager Azman Ibrahim said both Ghanaian Dennis Antwi and Lebanese Mohammed Ghaddar are still part of the team's  immediate plans.

"There is speculation about their positions in the team but I can safely say that at this moment, they are very much part of our team.

"Changing players, especially  imports, is not like changing shirts as there are substantial costs and other factors involved," Azman said ahead of the match against Kedah in Alor Star, today.

Azman said the FA of Malaysia's new Feb 13 deadline to register foreign players has kept the rumour mill, not only in Kelantan but in other states too, at full spin.

"Chances are, quite a number of foreign players meet the expectations of their paymasters or supporters.

"But it is still early days and we still have plenty of time to decide if  we need to change our foreign players." he added.  Meanwhile, coach Peter Butler said one of two foreign players will not make much difference to a football team.

"A team competing in the Super League and the domestic Cup competitions need to have an abundance of local talent to go far," said Butler.

"Quite a number of teams in the league have talented local players and the one that comes to mind right away is Terengganu."  

Kedah are another team with talented local players and Butler said it will be safe to assume that a tough encounter awaits Kelantan in Alor Setar.

 "Some fans are expecting an easy victory every time we play but I live in a real world and I know for certain that we cannot win by four or five goals every time we play.

 "I had played football at the highest level and I have been a coach for a long time to know that every opposing team will do what they can to make it hard for us even if they have to put every player behind the ball."  

The coach reminded the fans that he never promised them trophies   when he came back to Kelantan to take  over as head coach from M. Karathu but what he did promise was an honest effort to take Kelantan to greater heights.

A win or a draw in Alor Star will take Kelantan to the top of the Super League at least for 24 hours until T-Team, who are ahead on goal difference, take on Terengganu in Kuala Terengganu, tomorrow.

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