PETALING JAYA: Armed Forces coach B. Sathianathan has a defensive crisis.
The former national coach has been forced to play striker Hairuiddin Omar as a ‘stopper’ in their Super League clash against table-toppers Terengganu at the Selayang Stadium for Tuesday’s match.
A desperate Sathianathan said the switch was necessary to bolster his backline, which has been decimated by a host of injuries and suspensions.
“You can say we have a crisis ... I won’t have four experienced defenders for the game against Terengganu,” said Sathianathan on Monday.
Last month, two national defenders – K. Reuben and Amiridzwan Taj – underwent surgery for torn Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (ACLs).
On Saturday, centrebacks Spase Dilevski of Australia and Norfazly Alias picked up an injury and suspension respectively during the away match against Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) at the Larkin Stadium.
This leaves Sathianathan with just one experienced defender – Irwan Fadly Idrus – for the game against Terengganu.
“This is the first time I have come across such a situation in my coaching career ... losing almost the entire first team defenders,” said the coach.