* Karathu chokes on inherited squad
* New signings in the offing in next transfer window
* ‘When you walk on the field when you are not on the ball you are not a professional’
Even before the 2015 M-League season kicksoff with the Charity Shield match between Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim and FA Cup Champions Pahang on Jan 31, Perak head coach Datuk M. Karathu is already looking at new signings when the new transfer window opens in April.
The former international who was appointed as the new Perak coach-manager at the beginning of this year, will have to live with the fact that he has at his disposal a squad he inherited when he took the job. And Karathu is not too pleased with what he has seen of the seniors in the squad.
“I have no complaints about the youngsters…the President’s Cuppers have not only shown commitment and discipline on the field but also take instructions to rectify their mistakes. They are willing to learn. However, I am not too pleased or happy with the seniors,” said Karathu after seeing his side beat PKNS 2-0 in a friendly match in Ipoh on Tuesday.
“And not all the four foreigners have impressed me. They need to buck up. We need to look at better foreign players in the next transfer window. The engine room needs to be beefed up. I am not happy with what I have seen in the midfield department”
The four foreigners in the Perak side are South Korean utility player Namkung Woong, who played for Kedah last season, Brazilian striker Charles Souza Chad, who proved his worth with last year’s Premier League champions Police plus Brazilians Marco Tulio Lopes Silva (midfielder) and Thiago Junior Aquino (centreback) who played for Vietnamese club Dong Nai FC last year. Marco Silva is making a return to the M-League after donning T-Team colours in 2012.
Without pinpointing a finger at any of them (the foreign players), Karathu said: “We need better foreign players to beef up the team.”
Karathu also expressed his disappointment at the local seniors but hopes that they will be able to “pull up their socks” and guide the youngsters in the Super League to be effective in the Perak team.
“They (seniors) have years of experience playing at a higher level in the M-League. They should be guiding the young talent. As professionals they should set an example for their younger teammates.
“If you walk (on the field) when not on the ball it simply means you are not a professional. Since I took over the team I have been trying to implement some changes to have a team that will be able to carry Perak’s challenge in the M-League. To a certain extent I have been able get what i want to do but it is only 60 percent…we need to do more
“I will not hesitate to keep the seniors on the bench if they do not up their ante. Putting aside the management’s targets for the team I need to build a team that has strength in all departments. I have to make do with what I have until the next transfer window opens,” added Karathu.
“To build a strong team is my top priority now….and when you have a strong team you will be able to taste success.”
Two seasoned locals who have been brought into the Perak stable are goalkeeper Azizon Abdul Kadir and striker Bobby Gozales. The duo played a big role in guiding Police to the Premier League title last season.
Perak finished ninth in the 12-team Super League last season and made the group stages in the Malaysia Cup. In the FA Cup, Perak were knocked out in the first round. Perak have won the Malaysia Cup seven times and the last was in 2000 and finished runners-up in 2007.
Perak FA president Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin said the “The Bos Gaurus” have been set a top five finish in the Super League and also win at one silverware this season.