Zainal (centre) is keen on defending the Malaysia Cup after twowins in group A. -BERNAMA
PETALING JAYA: Pahang coach Zainal Abidin Hassan has no plans to count the chickens before they hatch.
Pahang are favourites to grab full points when they take on Felda United in their Malaysia Cup Group A clash at the Darul Makmur Stadium tonight.
Zainal’s men have fast emerged as the frontrunners to book their quarter-final spot after comfortable wins over Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) II 4-0 and Lions XII 2-1.
The Elephants had defeated Felda 2-1 in the FA Cup final in June but Zainal insisted taking things for granted would be disastrous.
“We got here by hard work and we need to continue that if we want to defend the Malaysia Cup,” said the former international.
“The final is still a long way and it’s best we take our minds off that and ensure we produce the results. But I’m grateful to my players who stick to instructions.
“Defending the title is not easy as everyone will be out to beat you. We saw that against Lions XII last week. They weren’t playing well of late but produced their best football against us.”
Pahang top Group A with maximum six points followed by Felda United on four. Lions XII are third with a point while JDT II sit bottom without a point.
The 52-year-old Zainal, who is well aware of Felda’s threat, stressed that his players needs to be on their toes.
“I’m expecting another tough match as we played them in the FA Cup final. Although they are a Premier League side, they are no pushovers.”