Pahang coach Dollah Salleh has urged his players to just maintain focus on their next match instead of paying too much attention on wanting to take the fight to defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim in the second round of their Super League campaign.
The Elephants are currently placed second in the 12-team standings with the same 24 points but on a superior goal difference with FA Cup winners Kedah.
Both teams are six-points adrift of league leaders JDT after 13 matches.
The 53-year-old Malacca-born admitted that the going will get tougher along the way with upgrades from the majority of the top-tier teams.
“We cannot just focus on JDT only. We have to focus on every single match that comes our way. If we only focus on that (toppling JDT), we will be in trouble. We can’t afford to take the others lightly too.
“That’s why I always remind my players we have to go one by one. That means that in this second round we can’t slip even one point.
“Every team are changing their foreign players which means they are trying to improve. That’s why I have told my players every time that we need to collect all three points in our remaining matches.
“Otherwise to chase JDT will be impossible. If we want to reach them then we have to give our 200% all the way, starting with Felda United on 1 July,” said Dollah.
So far the former international has made only one change to his squad with the inclusion of Argentine striker Yamil Romero, who made his debut in the FA Cup final against Kedah at the Shah Alam Stadium last month, replacing Nigerian striker Bright Dike.
“Performance wise, we’re still up and down based on a very tight schedule. But I believe that we can be a better team. At the right time and place, they can be the best.”
Pahang will resume their second round fixtures with their counterparts Felda United (1 July) away at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium in Jengka before meeting a mouth-watering clash with JDT on 11 July. – BY ALVIN OH
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