* ‘Police did not create the goals we gave them’
* ‘Not a bad game but bad score’
Kelantan’s shocking 4-0 defeat in the Super League at the hands of newcomers Police at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Bahru is still being digested by the Red Warriors who next travel across the South China Sea to face Sarawak to kick start their FA Cup campaign.
Coach George Boateng, a former Dutch international, foresees another “tough battle” to clear the second round hurdle against the Crocs who are also unbeaten at home after their scoreless draw against Pahang in a league match on Saturday. Incidentally it will be the “Battle of the Dutch” masterminds as Sarawak are coached none other than Dutchman Robert Alberts – a long time resident of Malaysia.
Can Kelantan recover in time for the FA Cup match after demoralising defeat to Police?
“A Cup match is totally different from a league match…you have to win the Cup match to stay in contention. The players are aware that we cannot slack,” said the Ghana-born Boateng, adding that Kelantan did not play a bad game against Police.
“We played an open attacking game. It is not my style to pack five defenders…this is not my style of football. My players did their best but some mistakes were made at the back.
“This is where we conceded goals. Police did not create their goals…but we handed them three of the four goals. Still we had a good game but bad score because we did not score. I will not point a finger at any player for the defeat. This is football.
It was Kelantan’s biggest defeat at home in a decade but Boateng is optimistic the Red Warriors will pick up the pieces and move on for a respectable showing in the league and reach the FA Cup final despite a toughie against Sarawak on Friday.
The defeat sent Kelantan plunging to fifth in the table standings on goal difference with six points – but separated by goal difference from third place Police and fourth placed Terengganu – 2-1 winners over bottom-placed Sime Darby in Kuala Terengganu.
“Sarawak are unbeaten at home. They also have good foreign players…players who can win matches for the team. I have not decided on my team for the (FA Cup) match against Sarawak but the players will be picked on merit.”
“We gave a committed and disciplined display apart from tremendous fighting spirit to face the big names in our last two matches,” said Azman, referring to his team’s 1-0 win over defending league champions Johor Darul Takzim before the trip to Kota Bahru.
In the FA Cup, Police will be at home to Sabah at the Shah Alam Stadium – their home venue.
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