A positive start in his first match as Melaka United’s new head coach – a scoreless draw against mighty Perak in Ipoh last week – has given E. Elavarasan and his new team hope of turning the tide in their Super League campaign.
Melaka is languishing at the relegation zone, third from the bottom with 10 points after 10 matches – just above bottom two Kelantan ( 8 points) and table proppers Negri Sembilan ( 5 points).
“It was an inspiring draw against Perak in Ipoh and the one valuable point could spell great things for us as we hope to move up the table,” said Elevarasan from Melaka on Sunday.
This Wednesday, Melaka will face another toughie although they will have home ground advantage support in the stands when they face Elavarasan’s former team PKNS FC.
Elavarasan is aware that it will not be any easy playing PKNS – a team that keeping pace with the leaders with 17 points. Four-time Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim lead with 25 points, followed by Perak (20) and Pahang third with 18.
“PKNS is a very formidable side compared to the last year two years. The team is beefed up with quality, both local and foreign. PKNS has improved very much over the time. It will be a tough match for Melaka against PKNS.
“At the same time, there is some confidence with Melaka now. The team did well against Perak and we hope to build on our performance in Ipoh.
“I must also admit that ‘Apek’ (goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che) has added confidence to the team. He was inspiring throughout the match,” added Elavarasan.
And it was Khairul’s performance between the posts that left Perak a frustrated team in Ipoh and the two points lost could be costly for Perak in their bid to catch up with the leaders.
International Khairul Fahmi joined Melaka during the second transfer window after he was released by his home state Kelantan. The last line of defence has haunted Melaka, conceding 17 goals in 10 matches. Melaka also has poor scoring figures with only nine goals from the same number of matches.
Elavarasan revealed that Melaka hopes to sign new foreign players during the second transfer window. RIZAL ABDULLAH