“I NEED to regain my confidence,” said international Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak, who saw 12 minutes of action in Johor Darul Takzim’s (formerly Johor FC) 2-0 win over Indonesian club Pelita Bandung Raya in a friendly at the Larkin Stadium last night.
It was his first match since reinjuring his left knee in a friendly against Bangladesh in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 20. The match ended 1-1.
While Johor Darul Takzim manager-cum-coach Fandi Ahmad was pleased with the way Zaquan coped in the 12 minutes he was on the field, the player himself is taking a cautious approach.
“Yes. I played about 12 minutes but it is still too early to say anything. I need to regain my confidence first. I am scared of getting injured again.
“Nevertheless it was a good ‘workout’ but the fear is there…as player you fear getting injured again, especially when you are just recovering. I would not want to rush into things and aggravate the situation.
“This is my first match since the friendly against Bangladesh. I was on the field then for only about 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute before I was carried out.
“It knocked me out of the AFF Suzuki Cup and it was painful for me to be out of the national team. It left me frustrated,” Zaquan told sports247.my after the match.
Zaquan and twin brother Aidil Zafuan, Safiq Rahim, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Safee Sali and Azmi Muslim are some of the big signings by Johor Darul Takzim for the new season which kicks-off next month.
Putting the injury aside, Zaquan said moving south to Johor after one season with Armed Forces, who earned promotion to the Super League after winning the Premier League title, is not all about money.
“It is new challenges and new aspirations and help Johor win at least one Cup as Johor have big plans.
“I want to be part and parcel of such a team. But I cannot achieve that from the sidelines. I want to be in thick of action and play every match. But before that I need to regain my confidence and put the nagging fear aside,” added Zaquan.
Apart from winning the Premier League title, Armed Forces also finished runners-up in the Malaysia Cup, losing the final 3-2 to Kelantan in extra time.
Fandi, a former Singapore international, had this to say about Zaquan: “I wanted to throw Zaquan into the fray and try him out in the last 10 minutes or so to see how he coped with the injury.
“It was good to see him on the field but you could see that he feared going for the challenges…this is normal for any player who is coming back from injury. He is recovering well and has been undergoing rehabilitation since he joined the Johor squad two weeks ago. He should be okay.”
Johor Darul Takzim open their Super League campaign with a home match against newly promoted Pahang on Jan 8 in Kuantan before taking on Perak at home in the second followed by away match against defending champions Kelantan in their third match.