Tuesday, 12 August 2014 | MYT 8:44 PM
Daher to miss Perak's first three matches
Hassan Daher (left) has been suffering from an ankle injury and will miss Perak's first three matches of the Malaysia Cup. - Bernama
GEORGE TOWN: Perak’s Lebanese defender Hassan Daher will sit out at least the first three matches in the Malaysia Cup Group B campaign after a recurrence of his ankle injury.
The influential centreback missed the tail-end of the Super League season after suffering a crack in his ankle bone. After recuperating in Lebanon, Daher returned to Ipoh two weeks ago but suffered a recurrence of the injury in training.
“Hassan’s ankle is in a plaster cast, and it looks like he will miss at least the first round of group matches. I am hoping that he will be fit in time to help us in the last three (group) matches,” said Perak coach Abu Bakar Fadzim on Tuesday.
“It is a huge blow to lose a player like Hassan, but then we coped without him by winning the final two matches in the Super League to escape relegation. His absence paves the way for me to field the other three attacking foreigners for our matches.”
Perak’s other three imports are Brazilian midfielder Marco Tulio and strikers Milan Purovic (Montenegro) and Abdulafees Abdulsalam (Nigeria).
Abu Bakar wants his strike partnership of Purovic and Abdulsalam to pick up from where they left off in the Super League to continue supplying the goals.
Prior to the duo’s signing during the April transfer window, Perak had scored a meagre four goals in their first 13 matches.
The duo contributed five goals each over the final nine league games to help lift Perak from bottom to ninth position in the 12-team standings.
Perak, who open their campaign tomorrow against Kedah in Ipoh, also have Terengganu and Sarawak for company in Group B.
“Kedah are the only Premier League team in the group, but they will be no pushovers. Just like Perak, Kedah also had an upturn in fortune midway through the league after changing their coach.
“Kedah will be dangerous in Ipoh as they don’t carry any burden to perform. Perak have to tread with caution as we need to avoid dropping valuable points at home.”
Kedah, who replaced Australian David Mitchell with Tan Cheng Hoe as coach in April, finished fourth in the Premier League to obtain the final automatic berth for the Malaysia Cup.