And it looks like UiTM are fast earning that tag – thanks to their German coach Frank Bernhardt.
Known for his stoic demeanour on the touchline, the former Malaysian Under-23 coach is making sure that his team can produce brawny and speedy performances for 90 minutes.
And it has certainly paid dividends since the restart of the Super League as they have two wins up their sleeves – beating Felda United (1-0) and shocking Super League giants Pahang (1-0) last Saturday.
The Lion Troops are now fourth in the 12-team standings tied on 10 points with second-placed Terengganu and third-placed Kedah and are only separated by goal difference.
Bernhardt said his team’s preparation before the league resumption was a little bit better than the other teams, as was apparent in their wins over Felda and Pahang.
“We do the best we can. Felda had a problem coping with our power and speed, and Pahang players were tired. Our boys have the power to stay 90 minutes without any issues. The same intensity and power are always there,” said Bernhardt.
“We fight like crazy, and that is very important. Our good run is thanks to the crazy fight we put in, in every game.”
Earlier this season, many predicted that the newly-promoted side will be battling relegation as they did not have the best of starts. They opened their campaign with two straight defeats, 0-2 to Melaka and 1-2 to JDT. In their third match, they drew 1-1 against Kedah.
UiTM are hoping to continue their resurgence against a demoralised Perak at the Perak Stadium on Friday.
Perak are going through a slump and it got worse last Friday when they were thrashed 7-0 by Super League leaders Johor Darul Ta’zim.
However, Bernhardt, has reminded his charges that Perak are still a top team.
“They belong in the top echelon of the league. However, UiTM are strong as a team, and the foreigners playing well.
“I am happy with the whole team especially the two French strongmen (Ousmane Fane and Victor Nirennold), our two national players (Mark Hartmann and Rabih Ataya) and a mercurial Brazilian (Gustavo Almeida).
“Not to forget, we have young players who are doing a good job. They are developing fast, and they just need to have a belief, which I am giving them. In Europe, you see 18-year-olds playing in the top league, so I am trying to do the same thing here,” said Bernhardt.
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