There have been calls for Selangor’s Asean quota Vietnam international Michal Nguyen to be replaced during the second transfer window but head coach B. Satianathan is not budging.
Instead, Satianathan has put his foot down and believes that the Vietnamese defender has played his role well to keep Selangor’s challenge alive in the Super League although the Red Giants are out of the FA Cup.
“Of course there are others who have better ratings but they cost a ‘bomb’ and this is something Selangor cannot afford due to financial constraints,” said Satianathan, a former national coach.
“Frankly, Michal is, in fact, more dedicated and committed in his game for Selangor. To me, he has done well thus far. We cannot simply change a player for the sake of changing. Thos who have called for a change have a vested interest.
“Goals conceded is no fault of Michal…there are other factors. Our strikeforce is crippled due to injuries to our key hitmen. We are hard hit by the absence of Rufino (Segovia) and Endrick (dos Santos). 
“They could have made a lot of difference. Putting that aside, I am pleased how we have managed to cope up to be in the top four in the league.”
Satianathan hopes his team will be able to clear another tough hurdle – this Wednesday’s “biggie” at the Shah Alam Stadium when the league resumes. Kedah are in the FA Cup semi-finals after knocking out PKNS FC 4-2 on aggregate in the two-leg quarter-finals   
“Kedah is a tough nut to crack. They are riding high in the wake of their FA Cup success. We have to check their momentum and get a positive result to pace at the top,” added Satianathan.
The tie is a battle of the third and fourth placed teams. Kedah is on 19 points in third place with Selangor a rung below on 18 points after 12 matches.
In another development, Satianathan confirmed that he will play his new signing – Nigerian professional Ifedayo Olusegun but is keeping his fingers crossed that the player will be “guided and helped” in his first match for Selangor.
“We cannot put pressure on Ifedayo…the others in the team need to guide him and help adjust to our style of play,” said Satianathan.
During the month of Ramadan, the Selangor team has been training from 11 pm to 1 am daily and Satianathan has been pleased with the training.
Selangor face a tough hurdle against Kedah in this Wednesday’s Super League cruncher at the Shah Alam Stadium. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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