PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby coach Ismail Zakaria believes that four wins from their final eight fixtures will keep his team in the Super League.
The Super League debutants have defied the odds to be in eighth spot with 19 points in the 12-team Super League after playing 14 matches. They are just nine points behind leaders Pahang, who have 28 points.
Although Sime Darby are seven points ahead of 11th-placed Armed Forces and nine in front of last-placed Perak, Ismail reckons that more hard work is needed to ensure Super League survival.
Ismail said that the final stage of the league will be harder because “the bottom teams will be fighting to get out of the drop zone while the higher-placed teams will be battling to capture the Super League crown”.
“Our main target in our debut season is to avoid relegation ... I think four more wins will set us on the right path,” said Ismail on Friday.
“I expect a tougher time when the league resumes next week. Almost all the other teams have made changes to their squads during the second transfer window and everyone is just much more desperate now.”
Ismail, whose team played several friendlies to maintain match fitness, revealed that his men will be playing for their future in the next eight league matches.
“The players are well aware that if they under-perform, they will not be retained for next season. Everyone is showing good commitment and that’s a positive sign,” he said.