PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby coach Ismail Zakaria is a hard man to please.
The club side finished a respectable fifth in their Super League debut ahead of heavyweights Kelantan and Lions XII in the 12-team league.
However, Ismail feels that some of his players didn’t meet their Key Performance Index (KPI) target and will be given another chance to prove themselves in the Malaysia Cup next month.
“We had a good debut in the Super League but there’s still plenty of room for the players to improve,” said the strict disciplinarian.
“I have told them they will be dropped next season if they flopped in the Malaysia Cup.
“They are responding well to my warning. I can see a change in attitude during training and it’s a positive sign ahead of our Cup campaign.”
Sime Darby made their debut in the Malaysia Cup in 2011 and their best outing was last year when they reached the quarter-finals.
Ismail, who had been at the helm since 2010, said that Sime Darby are gunning for the semi-finals this year.
He pointed out that his players are wiser and more confident following their strong debut in the Super League.
“If we get past the group stage I’m confident the team can reach the last four,” said Ismail.