Coach of Felda United, Irfan Bakti Abu Salim. Photo by NSTP/Goh Thean Howe.
Coach of Felda United, Irfan Bakti Abu Salim. Photo by NSTP/Goh Thean Howe.

* Irfan’s trump card Shukor Adan is back from suspension to lead the team

* ‘Shukor has the leadership and command on the field’ – Irfan Bakti.

* Kelantan and Sime Darby to play their first match during Ramadan at the Selayang Stadium


Felda United allowed Selangor to stage a comeback for a 4-4 draw at the Selayang Stadium last Saturday and Felda coach Irfan Bakti could not hide his disappointment because the Fighters were comfortably placed twice at 3-1 and 4-2.

Still Irfan described the eight-goal thriller as “fantastic” when considering the match was played in the month of Ramadan and kicked off at 10pm.

And looking at his watch, Irfan said: “It is midnight now and to see eight goals scored in the match is fantastic. We should have won the match but allowed Selangor to stage a comeback due lapses in our defence.”

Irfan was quick to point out that Felda missed the leadership and command of skipper Shukor Adan. The former international sat out the match because of suspension and it greatly affected the team’s backline.

“It would have been different if Shukur was playing. He has the leadership qualities and his command on the field has great influence in the team,” said Irfan.

In the same breath Irfan was quick to point out that “there is another battle to be played at Shah Alam Stadium on Tuesday” to fight for a win and full points as the M-League goes into a tight schedule during Ramadan which has not gone down well with all the teams.

Irfan believes Shukor’s return to the team has boosted the morale of the team. In his absence national midfielder Indra Putra Mahayuddin wore skipper’s armband and fittingly scored Felda’s third goal after Thiago Augusto Fernandes scored a brace.

Meanwhile, League leaders Pahang, 5-3 winners over Police at the Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday will face the Premier League champions at Kuantan’s Darul Makmur Stadium.

However, Pahang coach Zainal Abidin Hassan is not pleased with the manner the Elephants have been conceding goals due to sloppy defending.

“We need to cut this (sloppy defending) out. It has been our perennial problem in all competitions. If we can check this out we will be able to keep pace with our rivals,” said Zainal from Kuantan.

Kelantan will be back in the fray on Tuesday and will face Sime Darby at the Selayang Stadium. The Red Warriors had no match last Saturday after the Kelantan government barred all matches at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Bahru during the fasting month for religious activities.

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