KELANTAN take on Perak in the Super League boosted by the return of first choice goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.
The national No. 1 did not play in Kelantan’s 2-1 win over Sabah in a second round FA Cup on Tuesday, requesting to be left out of the team to be with his wife who gave birth to a baby girl a day earlier.
Whether Apek will be in coach Steve Darby’s first team is left to be seen after second choice Syazwan Yusoff gave a “creditable performance” between the posts against Sabah.
However, The Red Warriors are still without midfielder Amar Rohidan, who is recovering from a swollen ankle.
“I have yet to decide on the goalkeeper. It will only be decided in Ipoh after our training session there,” said Darby.
It has not been smooth sailing for the Englishman and his Warriors. After a hard fought 2-1 win over newly promoted Sime Darby at home, Kelantan needed a last minute goal to beat Sarawak 1-0 away.
PKNS then shocked them with a come-from-behind 2-1 win in Kota Baru in their league encounter on Jan 28.
The die-hard Kelantan fans are not happy with their team’s struggles on the pitch, but Darby said “there is nothing wrong” with his 3-5-2 system and strongly believes his team will get used to his style of play.
The widely travelled Darby, who had stints with Johor and Perak before, said Kelantan’s “rocky start” to the new season is no cause for alarm with the top five teams tied on six points, separated only by goal difference.
Darby, however, admitted that Perak will give Kelantan a tough time in front of their home fans.
“It is still early in the season. All the teams are struggling to cope with the tight schedule, made worse with time consuming and long and tiring travelling hours.
“No team has really settled down and Kelantan are no different. The next few matches could give you an inkling of who will be the contenders,” Darby told Sports247.my.