Selangor football team head coach Mehmet Durakovic applauds the crowd after the final game of the Super League season against PKNS at the Shah Alam Stadium last month. - BERNAMA
PETALING JAYA: Selangor’s perennial favourites tag in the M-League has left coach Mehmet Durakovic puzzled as the team gear up for the Malaysia Cup which begins on Aug 13.
The 32-times Malaysia Cup winners have been trophy-less for the last four season and they have only one more shot for glory in the Malaysia Cup after missing out on the FA Cup and the Super League titles this season.
The Red Giants came close to ending their trophy draught but finished runner-up in the 12-team Super League on the final day of the competition, losing out by a mere three points to champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) last month.
Selangor’s bid for a 33rd Malaysia Cup title begins with Sime Darby, Premier League champions Police and T-Team in Group D.
Durakovic said his team over-achieved in the league after losing out their star players early in the season and feels that the team needs more time to return to their glory years.
“We lost almost 85% of our players in the transfer window and we had no big name players in the team but we still finished second in the league,” said Durakovic, who won the Malaysia Cup three times as a player with Selangor from 1995 to 1997.
“I don’t really understand the unreasonable expectation on the team to win everything every season. No one wants to lose and the players should be given the credit for a commendable performance in the league.”
“We have a young squad and we are rebuilding after losing most of our key players. We have our plans and we will have a strong squad to return Selangor to our glory years but it will take time.”
The Red Giants were held to a 1-1 draw by Kedah in a friendly match on Monday and they will next take on Penang at the Selayang Stadium on Thursday.
“The boys did well in the match against Kedah... there is still room for improvement and I believe the team will be at their best for the Malaysia Cup.” added Durakovic.