PETALING JAYA: Give me five-star performances!
That’s what coach Dollah Salleh has demanded from his Pahang stars after watching them thump T-Team 5-0 in the Super League at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan on Friday.
The former international was impressed with his team’s excellent work rate.
He has also challenged his four new signings to continue firing on all cylinders after getting their names on the score sheet in the big win.
Brazilian striker Matheus Alves scored a brace (55th, 74th) while Gambia’s Mohamadou Sumareh (14th), South Korean Heo Jae-won (65th) and Nigerian Bright Dike (85th) added a goal each.
“This is what I expect from my team. The foreign players have combined well in the little time they’ve had in training. I hope they continue to produce more five-star performances in the coming matches,” said Dollah ahead of their away match to Sarawak in Kuching on Saturday.
Pahang’s opening game with Perak ended in a 1-1 draw in Ipoh last week.
Dollah is also happy to see his new local players blending in well with the team, especially Ahmad Syamim Yahya in the engine room and nippy winger Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria.
“Everyone is playing to expectations and, if they continue playing this way, we can go far this season,” said the 53-year-old Dollah, who has been tasked with ending the east coast side’s two-year title drought.
Dollah and his former assistant Zainal Abidin Hassan were responsible for the Elephants’ meteoric rise during their more than five-year stay (since 2009), which included back-to-back Malaysia Cup titles in 2013 and 2014.
But things have changed since Dollah moved to Police (2014) and Perlis (2015) while Zainal joined Selangor last season. Since then, Pahang have won nothing.
Last season, Pahang were involved in a relegation battle before finishing ninth in the 12-team league.
This year, the new-look Pahang have recruited Wan Zaharulnizam, Ahmad Syamim, Afif Amiruddin, Wan Azraie Wan Teh, Zubir Azmi, Ahmad Nordin Alias, Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin, Joseph Kalang Tie, Nurridzuan Abu Hassan, Muslim Ahmad and Christie Jayaseelan to strengthen their squad.