Irfan tells his players not to give excuses after poor display


PETALING JAYA: Terengganu coach Irfan Bakti (pic) has slammed his players for their lacklustre show in the 4-0 drubbing by Pahang in the FA Cup.

The veteran coach also urged them not to give the excuse of it being the fasting month for the heavy defeat in the semi-final second-leg match at the Darul Makmur Stadium on Friday.

Irfan was pretty sore over the team’s lack of aggression and lamented they were playing like “good boys”.

“They showed no aggression at all. They (Terengganu players) should not blame puasa (fasting) as a reason for their poor form because the Pahang players were fasting too!” said Irfan.

“We were just too lenient and that has to stop. Last season we were aggressive but we have only seen this factor in patches this season.

“We will be playing a rejuvenated Petaling Jaya City side next.

“They beat Pahang 2-0 in their last Super League match, so we have to be on our toes against them.

“They also have two new strikers (Washington Brando and Paulo Henrique). Their inclusion have galvanised K. Devan’s team. It will be a tough match, but with our 12th men (Terengganu fans), we will surely give our best.”

The Turtles will be facing PJ City at the Sultan Ismail Stadium in Kuala Terengganu today in a Super League match and they will be out to continue their excellent home form in the league.

This season, Terengganu have lost only once in six matches at home. In their last home match, the Turtles defeated Felda United 2-1 in the Super League.

Irfan said his team must get maximum points in their next 10 matches if they want to finish in a respectable position in the league. Last season, the East Coast side finished fifth with 34 points.

“The team must bounce back. I know it is tough to lose to Pahang in that manner, but they have to forget about it. Let’s move on, and aim for better things. The season is not over.”

Meanwhile, Irfan has rubbished rumours that Cambodian midfielder Thierry Chantha Bin will be replaced.

“If we let him go, we won’t have a defensive midfielder. Plus, we do not have the budget to sign another player.”

“I am looking at getting someone on loan.

“That does not mean I’m dropping anyone. I am expecting everybody in the squad to step up. We have 10 matches to salvage our reputation in the Super League,” he said.

Terengganu are currently seventh in the Super League standings with 16 points while PJ City are ninth with 11 points.