Terengganu is at the wrong end of the table – second from the top bottom – with only one point to show after two matches in the Super League and this has left head coach Irfan Bakti fuming.
The much-traveled Irfan did not hide his disappointment with the Turtles and is irked by the performance of his foreign legion and slammed them for the “below par” show against PKNS FC (1-1) and Pahang (0-3).
“I will not single out any of the foreign players…but I am not happy with their performance in the two matches so far. They have been warned to buck up or face the consequences. We will watch them in the next few games and see how things go,” said Irfan from Kuala Terengganu on Monday.
Skipper Kipre Tchetche who hails from Ivory Coast has yet to find the net after two matches while new signing Sanjar Shaakhmedov, 28, from Uzbekistan has done reasonably well.
Tchetche has been with the Turtles since 2017 and has scored 36 goals in all competitions. He will need to find his scoring touch again if Terengganu wants to beat five-time Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu this Friday.
It will be a test of character for Terengganu playing the Southern Tigers who beat Perak 1-0 and Kuala Lumpur 4-1 in their first two matches which were played at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru.
The other foreigners in the Terengganu team are Cambodian international Thierry Bin, 27, Serbian defender Igor Zonjic, 27 and English-born Lee Tuck, 30. Lee Tuck did not play in the first match against PKNS to serve a one-match suspension for a red card.
“I would have preferred to play JDT at a later date…not at this stage. We are down after the defeat to Pahang but we have to move on. This is the time for Terengganu to ‘wake up’ and show their character.
“I have taken stock of the shortcomings against PKNS and Pahang and will work on that in our training sessions. Terengganu will need to show their true potential and I am confident we can make our presence felt,” added Irfan.
JDT is in second place on goal difference with six points – the same as leaders Pahang and third-placed Melaka United. On the other hand, Terengganu is in 11th place with one point with Kuala Lumpur last without a point to show. RIZAL ABDULLAH