There is nothing like a derby win to lift flagging spirits as Selangor discovered after a comfortable 3-0 win over Kuala Lumpur in Bukit Jalil on Saturday to get their Super League campaign back on track.
Following their FA Cup exit to Johor FC, Selangor coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim unleashed his ruthless streak by dropping goalkeeper Norazlan Razali from the match-day squad against KL.
Norazlan, who spent the previous two seasons with the city side, was held responsible for Selangor's penalty shootout loss to Johor FC last week as G. Jeevananthan came into the Selangor line-up for his first start of the season.
Jeevananthan kept his team in the game with a couple of important saves in a goalless first half to deny KL's Stanley Bernard and Zakaria Charara before Selangor upped the pace after half-time and were rewarded with goals from Bosko Balaban, P. Gunalan and Amirulhadi Zainal.
"We needed to increase the tempo in the second half and when we did that, KL could not cope with us. This is a crucial win for us, very important after a stressful period.
"As a Selangor coach, stress is part of the job because every team that play against Selangor will play to the death. It's also the first time we have beaten a team below us in the table this season and at least we are keeping pace with the leaders," said Irfan after the match at the National Stadium.
Selangor moved up one spot to sixth but are still seven points behind leaders Kelantan and four adrift of Terengganu and Singapore LionsXII, who they meet in a fixture brought forward to tomorrow at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
"We have to guard against complacency, the team took it easy after going 2-0 up. It is exactly what happened against Johor FC when we were also two-up. I hope with the two suspended players back, we will be able to improve on our performance when we play LionsXII," added Irfan, referring to defenders Ramez Dayoub and Bunyamin Umar.
For KL, it is a tenth game without a win in the league and a raging coach Razip Ismail gave his players a shelling in the dressing roon after the game as the city side collapsed after a composed first-half display.
"Which teams go ten games without a win? This is unacceptable and I told them that," said Razip. "The same mistakes keep happening. The first two goals should have been prevented but the defenders were nowhere to be seen.
"It's very frustrating because we did well in the first half and I told them Selangor would come at us. They needed to keep their composure but let their heads drop after the first goal."