PETALING JAYA: Armed Forces coach B. Sathianathan “has been told to take a rest”.
In the meantime, the team’s coaching duties will be taken over by his assistant Shahrin Abdul Majid.
What made the decision painful to take for Sathianathan is that Armed Forces FA deputy president Mej-Jen Datuk Mazelan Kasap saw it fit to announce the decision in front of the players after their morning training session at the TUDM Sports Complex in Subang on Tuesday.
“I don’t know what ‘rested’ means and I have texted Armed Forces FA secretary general Lt-Kol Alias Jaffar to explain the meaning. For a coach, there is no such thing as being rested,” said Sathia on Tuesday.
“To me, it’s simple ... it’s either you are wanted or not. Now, I’ll wait for the black and white from the management before making any decision.”
The Gladiators, in their third season in the Super League, have won only one game out of seven thus far and are in 11th spot in the 12-team standings with four points.
Sathia is the second M-League coach to be “relieved” of his duties this season. Last month, the Kelantan FA re-designated head coach George Boateng to senior head coach and technical director following the team’s poor run of results.
The 56-year-old Sathia admitted to being shocked by the management’s decision as he was confident that he could turn the Gladiators’ fortune around.
“I’m unhappy with the way the news was told to me. The team have been unlucky ... we were not thrashed in our defeats. We were slowly getting back into form, actually,” he said.
“The players are shocked by the decision but I’ve told them to continue to work hard for the team.”
Sathia guided Forces to the 2012 Premier League crown and earn automatic promotion to the 2013 Super League. The team also made 2012 Malaysia Cup final.
In their debut season in the Super League, Forces finished a respectable sixth in 2013. The following year saw them avoid relegation by finishing ahead of T-Team on goal difference.