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Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 7:51:00 PM
Thursday August 29, 2013 MYT 7:52:46 PM
by eric samuel
P. Maniam talking to Selangor players last year. Being a caretaker coach is not something new to him and Maniam hopes to turn things around for the Red Giants in the remaining matches.
PETALING JAYA: Caretaker coach P. Maniam has pledged to transform the fortunes of the ailing Red Giants in the Malaysia Cup competition.
The 32-time champions are staring at an early exit as they prop up Group A with one point from a draw (Johor 0-0) and two defeats (Armed Forces 3-2, Sime Darby FC 3-0).
The FA of Selangor (FAS) have put the 45-year-old former international to take charge of the team following the sudden resignation of head coach Irfan Bakti on Wednesday.
This is the second time that Maniam has assumed the caretaker’s role. The first time was when former Selangor coach K. Devan quit mid-way during the Malaysia Cup competition in 2011.
“It’s not a new role to me. I know the challenges and demands that come with this appointment. I’ve been in this situation before and my immediate task will be to make the necessary changes and get the team into the quarter-finals,” said Maniam Thursday.
This, of course, is easier said than done because Maniam’s first test would be to avenge their loss to Sime Darby FC in the second round match at the Shah Alam Stadium Saturday. A defeat will virtually end their Malaysia Cup challenge.
Maniam, who began his playing career with Selangor, did well in coaching the Youth and President’s Cup teams to emerge champions in 2006 and 2008 respectively. He then guided Selangor to the Sukma final in 2011 before graduating to the state’s senior team.
“I’ve been as assistant coach with the senior team for five years now. I know the players well. Our biggest asset is the wealth of experience in the squad. We are down but definitely not out, yet. We can bounce back ... I have faith in the players to raise their game and qualify for the knockout stages. All I hope for is that the fans will continue to show their undivided support for the team,” said Maniam.
The FAS had set a tall order for Irfan – to win a silverware this season. But Selangor finished as runners-up to Lions XII in the Super League and crashed out in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
Selangor have been in such predicament before. In 2011, they were on the verge of an embarrassing exit in the group stages of the Malaysia Cup when Devan quit the team after four matches (one win, a draw and two defeats).
Maniam took charge and the team won the remaining two fixtures to pip Kuala Lumpur to a place in the last eight. Selangor defeated Perak 4-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals before losing to Terengganu in the semi-finals (4-1 on aggregate).
Tags / Keywords:
football, Selangor, Red Giants, P. Maniam, Irfan Bakti, Malaysia Cup
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