Selangor are facing a crisis and the players know it. They even held a meeting among themselves in the changing room after the 2-0 loss to club side PKNS in a Super League match on Saturday.
The Red Giants inability to score was laid bare again in the defeat and to add insult to injury – PKNS’ goals were scored by Selangor discard Rudie Ramli in the 35th minute, and left back Mohd Helmi Remeli in the 61st.
Things don’t look good for Selangor as their Lebanese defender Ramez Dayoub even conducted team talk on the pitch before the start of the second half.
However, Selangor coach Irfan Bakti brushed off claims of discord in the team and congratulated PKNS for the well deserved victory.
“PKNS played well to defeat us and they deserved the victory,” said Irfan.
“The players’ spirit dropped after conceding the first goal and it took some time for them to get back into the game.
“Ramez (Dayoub) is an excellent professional and he was just trying to motivate the team and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“We should not have conceded the first goal and after falling behind we were too eager to get the equaliser and that enabled PKNS to add their second.”
The defeat saw the Red Giants drop to eighth in the standings with nine points from two wins, three draws and two defeats.
Irfan also said that despite the poor form of his team, he has no regrets joining Selangor.
Irfan had an illustrious season with Terengganu, guiding them to second spot in the Super League and winning the FA Cup. But he decided not to continue his contract and jumped ship to Selangor this season.
“I have no regrets joining Selangor. In fact, I’ll work harder to improve the team,” said Irfan.
“We just don’t have a proper striker in the team at the moment but it will be solved if Croatian stiker Bosko Balaban’s ITC gets clearance. Otherwise, we have to wait until the second transfer period in April to beef up the team.”
Meanwhile, PKNS caretaker coach Annuar Abu Bakar, said his team’s cautious approach paid off against Selangor.
“I’m very happy with the performance of my players despite being tired after playing Terengganu last Wednesday,” said the former international.
“Selangor are good and we had to be extra cautious against them. We defended well and our counter attacks were spot on.”
Annuar also revealed that PKNS have decided to de-register French striker Dawood Nicoise who suffered a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury. Zambian hitman Phillimon Chepita is also injured.
However, Nicoise will remain under PKNS payroll until the second transfer window from April 2-16 before deciding whether to register the Frenchman or Chepita for the rest of the season.