PETALING JAYA: It will be a fresh start for Melaka in the Malaysia Cup.
Coach Zainal Abidin Hassan said his men have owned up to their mistakes after falling short in their Super League campaign.
The Mousedeer scored identical 1-0 wins over Terengganu and Perak when the season resumed in August after a five-month suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic but it all went downhill after that.
They drew 1-1 against Selangor and Petaling Jaya respectively, and it was followed with defeats to Sabah (2-3), Kedah (0-1) and eventual champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (0-5).
They finished ninth in the 12-team standings with 11 points.
“The players have admitted their mistakes... the 5-0 loss was something unacceptable. The players failed to pick themselves up during the game. I don’t want this to be repeated, ” said Zainal.
“We have identified what went wrong during that game and we are fixing it now. The first step to improving is to acknowledge our mistakes.”
“We can’t lose focus when things don’t go our way and let it affect our game. We need to bounce back quickly from setbacks.”
Zainal however, added that the Malaysia Cup under the new knockout format is an open competition.
“Teams will have to play four matches to win the Malaysia Cup. Only the performance in the 90 minutes matter so everyone has an equal chance.
“I also believe in the quality of my players, ” he said.
“Except for that one big defeat to JDT, we did okay as we kept the score low against other opponents in the Super League, so, I think we can be a contender in the Malaysia Cup.”
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