* Red Warriors to unleash their new signings against JDT
* Colombian striker Erwin Carillo not in the team to JB
This Saturday’s high profile Super League biggie between defending champions Johor Darul Takzim and Kelantan at Johor Bahru’s Larkin Stadium is “not to be missed” with both teams parading new signings including the return of JDT’s Gary Steven Robbat.
Kelantan coach Azraai Khor Abdullah, however, will be without his ‘injured’ Colombian striker Erwin Carillo who will not travel with the team to Johor Bahru. Australian defender Jonathan McKain will feature in his match strategies.
With the signing of Austin Amutu and Gilmar Dos Santos Filho, Kelantan have decided to give their under-performing strikers Emmanuel Kenmogne (Cameroon) and Isaac Pupo (Liberia) the boot.
Azraai is also not too happy with the attitude of Carillo who is apparently playing to the tune of his agent. This has angered the Kelantan management and the Colombian may also find himself out of the team before the transfer window closes on April 28.
With a big base of Kelantan fans in Johor Bahru, the Red Warriors will certainly not be short of support in the stand.
Kelantan have signed up two new foreigners during the April transfer window. They are Nigerian Under 23 international Austin Amutu and Brazilian Gilmar Dos Santos Filho – both of whom are eligible to play against JDT after receiving their International Transfer Certificate (ITC) on Thursday morning.
For now Azraai is looking for his first win in the league after defeats to Terengganu ( 2-1 away) and Pahang (2-0 at home). In the FA Cup, Kelantan are still in the running after a 1-1 draw with Sime Darby in the first-leg quarter-final at the Selayang Stadium.
“I took over as the coach at a time when we are playing all the big guns in the league. It is a challenge but with Amutu and Filho we hope to have more bite upfront. Hopefully they will change the tide in our favour after a miserable start to the season,” said Azraai.
“Both, Amutu and Filho, have the skills, the physique and all that you need as footballers. It will be their first competitive match with us and as coach I can only pray and hope that they will be able to change things for the team.
“I have no complaints about the commitment, desire and discipline of the locals in the team. They have given their best but Kenmogne and Pupo turned out to be a big disappointment. Carillo must also change his attitude and be more committed in his game. In football you get knocks here and there,” added Azraai.
JDT too have new names in the team apart from Robbat. Their big names are Patricio Rodgriguez, who reportedly is paid RM250,000 a month, and Alhaji Kamara.
The Southern Tigers are also one point away from making the AFC Cup Round of 16 from Group F after handing Hong Kong outfit Kitchee FC a 2-0 defeat at home to go to the top of the table.