Football

Published: Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 6:17:00 PM
Updated: Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 6:19:18 PM

Durakovic hopes to see Pantelidis back in action

Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic.

Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic.

PETALING JAYA: Selangor coach Mehmet Durakovic is banking on injured defender Steve Pantelidis to re­­cover in time for the start of the M-League season on Jan 18.

The towering Australian centreback twisted his ankle in the 2-1 win over Armed Forces in a friendly last Tuesday.

The Red Giants have strengthened their squad for the new season but they are still short of defenders.

The other six defenders are Zaiful Abdul Hakim, Mohd Azmi Muslim, Mohd Shahrom Abdul Kalam, Mohd Rizal Fahmi Abdul Rosid, Mohd Bunyamin Umar and P. Rajesh.

Durakovic admitted that he would prefer more depth in defen­ce.

“I was hoping to rope in more defenders as we are a bit thin in this department,” said Durakovic, a former Selangor legend.

“I have been trying to deploy our defensive midfielders in central defence to improve our options but it’s not easy to change a player’s style.

“We will be playing a lot of matches and I need to keep the players fresh and injury-free. I hope we won’t have any major injury crisis,” added the 45-year-old Australian.

Selangor got off to a good start in their pre-season with a 4-0 and 3-0 win over South Melbourne FC, an Australian second-tier side, last month.

Commenting on his side’s pre-season, Durakovic said: “The players are gelling well and they understand my football philosophy. I want the team to play pure football with short passes and an attack-oriented game. The players are responding well.”

Tags / Keywords: M-League, Selangor, Mehmet Durakovic, Steve Pantelidis

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