PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby coach Ismail Zakaria is not planning to throw in the towel in the chase for the Premier League title.
The plantation giants have already secured promotion to the Super League next season but they are four points adrift of the current league leaders Sarawak with three matches remaining.
Ismail said that they still have a chance to wrestle the title away from Sarawak but they must win their matches and hope for Sarawak to slip up.
“The promotion is secured but we will still fight to the end for the Premier League title,” said Ismail.
“Anything can happen in football ... we were unbeaten and were the league leaders before suffering a blip ... the same can happen to Sarawak.
“They still have to travel to play Johor and Sabah, these two teams are difficult to take on in front of their home crowd.”
Under Ismail, Sime Darby made their debut in the FAM Cup in 2010. And it was a dream outing as they emerged champions. The next year, Sime Darby met their target as they finished in the top five of the Premier League.
Last season, they made waves in Malaysian football by becoming the first club side to reach the FA Cup final before losing 1-0 to Kelantan in the final. In the Premier League, they missed the cut for promotion after finishing third behind champions Armed Forces and Pahang.
Ismail added that they will play three friendly matches against Armed Forces (tomorrow), Felda United (Friday) and Perak (June 17) to stay sharp.
“We need to be on our toes so I have arranged several friendlies. These matches will also help our injured players – Mohd Shafiq Jamal and Mohd Zamri Chin – to ease back into the team,” added Ismail.
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