Different Dreams

Not so, according to Forces coach B. Sathianathan, who said he would "never give up" until it is mathematically over.  Sathianathan will be hoping second-placed Darul Takzim will do Forces a favour and derail LionsXII's title bid at Jalan Besar tomorrow, provided that game does not fall foul of the haze in Singapore.

"Looking at it on paper, they (LionsXII) could win all their games but you never know in football," said Sathianathan in assessing his team's chances of bridging a five-point gap to LionsXII with four games remaining.  "They can still drop points. If they lose one and draw one, they will be under pressure. Darul Takzim will have to get a result there and then there is everything to play for. But we'll never give up."

For Irfan, the eight points his team must make up is too big a margin and said the priority is securing second place which comes with a spot in next year's AFC Cup if LionsXII win the league.  "To me, this match will be our turning point in the league to finish in the top three," said Irfan, whose side ended a run of five consecutive draws in the league by beating Terengganu 2-0 before the break.

"We don't have any hope for the title anymore because LionsXII will be champions. They just need to win their two home games and it would be enough.  "We and the rest are playing for second place and if we beat Forces, it will be the turning point." 

  Both teams will miss two key players today with Liberia international striker Francis Doe suspended for Selangor while Hairuddin Omar is out with a foot injury for Forces though Super League top scorer Marlon Alex James returns after missing his team's last two games through injury.

"Hairuddin suffered an injury to the top of the bone in his foot and I don't want to risk him," said Sathianathan. "We would rather have him rest and recover for the Malaysia Cup. Marlon will play and everyone else is available."  Selangor welcomed six players back from the national team's tour of Australia on Tuesday and Irfan is confident they will hit the ground running today.

"I'm happy with how the six national players responded to training and Amri (Yahyah) is looking really good. It's a must win game for us," said Irfan, who added that defender Bunyamin Umar's season is over after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

*Sumber dari New Straits Times


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