Police head coach E. Elavarasan is wary of the threat posed by “great survivors” Felda United after their 3-1 win over Group D leaders Melaka United at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka on Saturday.
Felda’s win – their first in four matches – has thrown wide open the race for a top-two finish in the group and a place in the Malaysia Cup knockout stage.
Melaka (7-6) retained their top spot on goal difference, tied with Selangor (6-5) on six points each. A rung below is Police with five points while Felda sits in fourth place with four points.
Police play Felda at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium in Jengka on Sept 14 after the break for international assignments – which gives Elavarasan the time to ‘refresh’ and to work out his match strategies against the Fighters with the 4-3 win in the first round still fresh in his mind.
On the same day, 33-time Malaysia Cup champions Selangor will take on Melaka at the Shah Alam Stadium.
“Felda has established itself as a team that has become used to challenges and survive. They are a hardened lot in this respect. They did it in the Super League and avoided the drop with a big 5-1 win over Kedah in their final match.
“They are in a similar situation in the Malaysia Cup…they are in a desperate situation again and there is nothing to stop them from going all out. To me, Felda is the most dangerous team to play in such situations,” said Elavarasan who has transformed Police into the reckoning.
Elavarasan was in Indonesia for his Pro-license when he got a call from the Police management if he could “help the team challenge for honors” in the M-League at a time when Police was languishing at the bottom of the Premier League.
This was in mid-season. Elavarasan accepted the challenge because he “likes challenges” and the lawmen are in the elite Super League after Penang has six points deducted on Fifa’s instructions for running foul in not paying their foreign signings on time.
Elavarasan says the next round of matches in Group D as “crucial” for all four teams as it could decide their fate in the Malaysia Cup.
“Right now the group is wide open. Any of the four teams are capable of advancing to the knockout stage. We have to be wary of the threat from Felda,” added Elavarasan.” RIZAL ABDULLAH