PETALING JAYA: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) coach Bojan Hodak is delighted with his team’s playing style, which has seen them check into the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals with a game in hand.
Hodak, who took over the team in April, said that they are finally hitting form and will be a contender for the Malaysia Cup crown if they can continue their strong form, which has seen them score 10 goals and concede just one in five matches.
The Southern Tigers top Group C with an unassailable 13 points and will be joined by second-placed Kelantan (9 points) in the last eight. Armed Forces (5) are third in the group and Penang (1) are last.
The 43-year-old Hodak believes that they are playing with reckless abandon as “there’s no pressure on us in the Malaysia Cup” because their main target is to retain the Super League crown and play in either the AFC Champions League or AFC Cup competition.
“Qualifying early for the quarter-finals is great but what’s important to me is seeing the team playing very well. The defence is very compact and the strikers are consistent with their scoring,” said Hodak who guided the club side to their first-ever Super League title in June.
“The knockout stage will be different. You can already predict what will happen in the knockout round ... injuries and suspension will make a big difference at this stage.
Hodak said they will try to end their group stage campaign unbeaten when they face Kelantan at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru on Tuesday.
Skipper Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak and Brazilian centreback Marcos Santos are expected to be sidelined for the trip to Kota Baru after picking up injuries in the 1-0 win over Armed Forces on Saturday.