Pahang's new striker Dickson Nwakaeme lasted only 15 minutes of the Charity Shield match against Lions XII on Friday due to a hamstring injury.
PETALING JAYA: Pahang paid a heavy price for their 1-0 Charity Shield triumph over Lions XII on Friday.
The Shield match, which pits Malaysia Cup champions Pahang against the Super League champions Lions, also doubles up as a league match. But the three points for Pahang came with a hefty cost – injury to key striker Dickson Nwakaeme.
Also on the crock list is R. Surendren who injured his knee during pre-season matches.
Dickson saw only 15 minutes of action in the Shield match before limping out with a hamstring injury at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan on Friday.
New Pahang coach Ron Smith is obviously very concerned over the setbacks just one day into the M-League season.
“The players have yet to settle down and it was obvious they did not have enough practice matches during the Charity Shield match. And now, we have Dickson on the injury list,” said Smith.
On the other hand, Smith said it was a tall order to get the players to play a composed game so early in the season.
“With more games under the belt, we should hit the right note. But despite the jittery start we were lucky to score a narrow win over Lions XII. Both teams had their fair number of scoring chances,” said Smith.
The Lions XII’s display in Kuantan is clear indication that they won’t be just making up the numbers in the Super League this season.
The Singapore side, under new coach Fandi Ahmad, proved that they are still a force to be reckoned despite not hiring any foreigners and losing stalwarts Hariss Harun, Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak, who joined Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) this season.
Pahang assistant coach Zainal Abidin Hassan feels that the present Singapore squad is much better that the previous team who won the Super League title last season.
“I think they have a better team this season and the others had better be wary,” said Zainal.