Selangor outfit PKNS FC will be more than happy to return with a point in their Super League opener against last season’s Malaysia Cup runners-up Terengganu at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium on Friday.
PKNS coach Datuk K. Rajagobal is taking a cautious stand, admitting that Terengganu has the material to take off from where they left in the Malaysia Cup final against Perak. Perak won the silverware on penalty kicks after extra-time failed to break the deadlock with the score tied at 3-3.
“We have changed more than half of last year’s team to suit our budget for this season. Still, we have come to get a positive result…at least a point from our first match.
“It is tough playing an match, more so when we are away. Terengganu have the material and have strong players who can win matches,” said Rajagobal from Kuala Terenggnu.
PKNS finished a creditable third in the Super League and also reached the FA Cup semi-finals. In the Malaysia Cup the club’s campaign ended in the quarter-finals.
Argentine midfielder Gabriel Guerra is back in the fold this season moving south to join Johor Darul Takzim in 2017. Also in the team is Cambodian international Chan Vathanaka, 25, who played for Pahang last season but was released in mid-season.
Former MIFA hitman Kpah Sherman is another new addition, joining centre-back Nick Swirad who played for Melaka United last year after two seasons with JDT II.
“We made some changes to the team to add ‘new dimension’ and things look positive so far,” added Rajagobal, a former national coach who won the SEA Games gold in 2009 and the AFF Suzuki Cup a year later.
Meanwhile, Terengganu chief coach Irfan Bakti is counting on a winning start for the Turtles but has warned his players to stay focused. RIZAL ABDULLAH