PETALING JAYA: Perak coach Mehmet Durakovic has singled out striker Ronaldo Silva for their blunt attack in the Malaysia Cup.
Silva has scored only one goal in four matches in Group C despite numerous chances created by the Perak attackers.
Signed during the second transfer window to replace Gilmar Filho, the 28-year-old showed his quality by scoring nine goals in 13 matches in all competitions but has struggled in the Malaysia Cup.
The Brazilian is under heavy pressure now to deliver as many fans are losing their patience and Durakovic wants the problem to be fixed.
Durakovic said it was frustrating but he still has faith in Silva to bounce back against Pahang today at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh.
“I will support the players as long as they give their 100% in training and work hard for the team, ” he said.
“The wingers and midfielders are creating lots of chances for Ronaldo, and I understand the frustration of the fans. But Ronaldo’s chance will come because he has quality and class.
“We’ve to be positive and constantly encourage the lad. We want him to regain his goal-scoring touch, and the players have vowed to support each other.”
The Seladang need to beat Pahang if they harbour hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals as they have only collected five points from four games to be placed second.
The Elephants have booked a spot in the quarter-finals as they won all their four matches in the group.
Penang also have five points but are third due to goal difference while Sabah are out of contention as they’ve yet to collect a point in four matches.
Durakovic is aware of Pahang’s strength as his team were easily beaten 0-3 in their first group match on Aug 8 at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan.
“All the Pahang players are good. So, we just have to believe in ourselves and rely on the home support to get a win.”
However, Perak have been dealt a cruel blow as Leandro Santos has been suspended for the game as he has collected three yellow cards, while Careca is still recovering from a hamstring injury.
National players Brendan Gan, Nazirul Naim, Shahrel Fikri Md Fauzi, Hafizul Hakim Khairul Nizam Jothy, Shahrul Saad and J. Partiban have returned to training, but Durakovic said he would assess their conditions before deciding on his line-up.
“Shahrul has been unbelievable this season. He hasn’t had much of a break, played more than 30 games for us, also started for the national team eight times this year, ” said Durakovic.
“Some of these guys have been training non-stop, so we have to assess their fitness levels. I expect the first 11 to give only their best, ” he added.