FLY_2168 - No 9 Paulo Rangel , No 24 Gopinathan

* Rahman: Selangor as dangerous as ever

* Former Red Giant Rangel will be a marked man

* Terengganu’s new signing Hassan Chaito injured

ONE name that stands out in this Saturday’s Super League biggie between East Coast hopefuls Terengganu and beleaguered Selangor is Brazilian hitman Paulo Rangel – last season’s Gold Boot Award winner.

Rangel moved east and joined the Turtles after a fallout with the management of Selangor and has vowed to “giun down” his former team which is somewhat in a mess following a crisis between the Red Giant fans who succeeded to a certain extent to get previous manager Datuk Mokhtar Ahmad, who is also the FA of Selangor (FAS) deputy president, removed from handling the team for the new season.

But that is not the concern of Terengganu chief coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim – knowing that Selangor are “as dangerous as ever”  and the Turtles cannot afford to look down upon the Klang Valley outfit.

“Selangor have their problems but it does not bother us in any way.  Selangor’s problems also does not guarantee us a sure win,” said Abdul Rahman.

“Yes! We have Paulo (Rangel) in the team but this what bothers you when play his former team. You have to remember that Selangor know the strong and weak points of the Brazilian like the back of their hand.

“For one he (Paulo) will be a marked man. Selangor know what is capable of doing when it comes to scoring goals. With Paulo a marked man it is left to the others, especially the locals to show their scoring capabilities.”

In the same breath Abdul Rahman stressed that “Paulo alone cannot win matches” and others have to play their part to win matches for Terengganu.

“Paulo comes with a reputation as last year’s Golden Boot winner but there is a price to pay for that. The new season is a different ball game. However, I must admit that getting Paulo has strengthened the Terengganu team. At the same time the locals (players) must know how to adapt to his play and benefit.

“The Selangor match is the first big test for Terengganu and it will give an inkling to our ambition of a top bracket finish in the league and how we will fare in the Cup (FA Cup and Malaysia Cup) competitions.” 

 Abdul Rahman is also concerned that Terengganu’s new signing, Lebanese striker Hassan Chaito is injured and not likely to make his M-League debut against Selangor.  According to Abdul Rahman, Hassan is nursing a hamstring injury, which has considerably weakened his strike force.

Terengganu have lost their top scorer last season. Nor Farhan Mohamed who has returned to Kelantan for his third stint with the Red Warriors. The national striker was Terengganu’s top scorer with eight goals in all competitions – seven in the league and one in the Malaysia Cup.

The Turtles finished fourth in the 12-team Super League and reached the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals but were shown the exit by Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) who call themselves as “Southern Tigers” 3-1 on aggregate. The first-leg at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu ended scoreless but JDT showed their might with a 3-1 win in the return-leg at the Larkin Stadium.

For the new season Terengganu have retained Cameroon defender Vincent Bikana and signed up Rangel, Hassan and Argentine midfielder Gustavo Lopez who last played for Indonesian premier club Arema Cronus.

“We played about 15 friendly matches for the new season and with Zairo Anuar, Ashaari Samsudin, Manaf Mamat still in the team we should be able to hold our own in the M-League. The trio scored six goals each last season.

Terengganu won the Malaysia Cup once (2001) and finished runners-up in 1973, 1982, 1998 and 2011. The East Coast powerhouse won the FA Cup in 2000 and 2011 and the Charity Shield in 2001.

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