PETALING JAYA: The order is out. Selangor defender Taylor Regan must put the shackles on Kuala Lumpur’s in-form striker Guilherme De Paula.
Selangor resume their Super League campaign against Kuala Lumpur in the Klang Valley derby at the Shah Alam Stadium today and are hoping to break into the top three of the standings in the table.
Australian centreback Regan, who has been one of the standout performers for Selangor, said De Paula is one of the most feared strikers in Malaysia and his six goals in the league is proof of his mettle.
“He has proved for many years that he’s one of the deadliest strikers in Malaysia. We have to keep a close watch on him,” said the 30-year-old Regan.
“Aside from De Paula, Selangor will also have to be wary of Indra (Putra Mahayuddin), Paulo Josue and Ashri Chuchu who are all dangerous when on form.
“I know De Paula will be more motivated to score against us because he wants to break the club’s goalscoring record. I hope he breaks the record after this game.”
De Paula’s hattrick against PKNP in the Super League before the international break saw his goal tally for KL reach 65, just three goals shy of surpassing Singapore legend Fandi Ahmad’s 67. The 33-year-old De Paula is in his third season with KL and breaking Fandi’s record is possible especially with seven matches left in the league.
Regan said the three-week break has been good for the team as the players are rejuvenated and prepared to play the last seven matches in the league.
“The boys are feeling good. We had a good break during Raya, and now we are fresh. We played some good football against Selangor United in the 4-0 friendly win, and now we’re focusing on three points at home against a strong KL team,” said the 1.86m tall player, who played for Adelaide United in the A-League in the past.
Regan, however, admitted that the Red Giants had conceded way too many goals this season. The team, coached by B. Sathianathan, have conceded 23 goals in 15 games.
“A lot of the goals have come from our own mistakes. We’re working hard to stay focused for 90 minutes. I’m the foreign defender, it’s my job to help organise from the back. When the opposition score, I feel guilty – even if I didn’t make the mistake,” he said.
Selangor are fifth in the league with 22 points, while Kuala Lumpur are one spot above the relegation zone at 10th with 14 points.