Terengganu's Marco Souza tussles for the ball with PKNS' Mohd Nazri Aziz during their Super League last week won by the former 2-1. - Filepic
GEORGE TOWN: Former Terengganu coach E. Elavarasan is not happy with the comparisons being made between the current and last year’s Turtles teams.
The Terengganu team led by Elavarasan last year needed six matches before registering a win in their Super League campaign. The team went on to finish ninth and also reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, where they lost 6-5 on aggregate to eventual champions Kelantan.
The team, under Abdul Rahman Ibrahim’s helm this year, made a winning debut in the Super League when they edged PKNS 2-1 at home last week and then cleared the FA Cup first round with a comfortable 4-0 win over FAM Cup team Kuantan Port on Tuesday.
Elavarasan feels that it’s unfair to compare the starts made by the teams without considering other factors.
“It’s unfair for the present team officials to describe this year’s winning start as a big improvement to last year because the quality of the two squads are not the same,” said Elavarasan.
“The 2013 Terengganu team was set up at only a fraction of the budget provided this year. I had to make do with the players made available to me and work under constraints.
“This year, there was a hefty increase in the team budget and Terengganu lured several star players. With the quality of the current squad, they should be aiming to win at least one trophy and stop comparing with the achievements of the 2013 team.”
A change at the top of the Terengganu FA management saw the Turtles increase their spending for this year and they were successful in luring the likes of forward Mohd Norfarhan Mohamad and Zairo Anuar Zailani from Kelantan and Sharbinee Allawee from Selangor.
After two successive home wins, Terengganu face their first away acid test in the league on Saturday when they take on the youthful and energetic Perak in Ipoh.
Despite losing to both Johor Darul Ta’azim and Pahang (in the Super League and FA Cup respectively), Perak pushed both the established teams to the limit and can be counted upon to give Terengganu a torrid time.