PETALING JAYA: UiTM skipper Faizal Arif has backed interim head coach Reduan Abdullah to lift the struggling club out of the Super League relegation zone.
The 26-year-old defender issued a rallying cry to his teammates to step up and secure their first win when they face fellow strugglers Sabah at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu tomorrow.
UiTM could only collect one point from their opening eight matches and they lie bottom in the 12-team standings.
The poor start has led to head coach Frank Bernhardt being ‘rested’ and Reduan, the club’s technical director, being appointed as the caretaker coach.
There was no quick fix from Reduan either as UiTM were whipped 3-0 by Melaka at home last week.
Faizal insists the morale of the team remains intact despite Bernhardt’s predicament. The German was instrumental in guiding UiTM to a commendable sixth place in their debut season last year.
“As players, our job is to play football. It doesn’t matter whether we play under coach Frank or anyone else, ” said Faizal.
“We’re all professionals, we’ve got to accept what the management decides because they know what’s best for the team.
“I have no problem playing for coach Reduan, I have played under him back in 2017 when he was the caretaker too at that time.
“The rest in the team also responded to his appointment positively, and we all believe in him and his team of coaches.
“Rest assured, we’re going to give full commitment to the team.
“Obviously this isn’t how we wanted to start the season. But it has happened and we should not dwell on something we can’t control.
“Our immediate goal is to get that first three points and we will try our best to turn things around when we take on Sabah.”
Faizal reckons UiTM can’t afford to play defensively for the remainder of the season if they are to start producing encouraging results.
Faizal is hopeful that the team will address their goal-scoring woes by bringing in reinforcements in the next transfer window. The club managed just three goals thus far.
“I have to agree with what has been said by coach (Reduan) about the team being blunt in front of goal, ” said Faizal.
“As a defender myself, all I can say is that we won’t be able to defend for 90 minutes without scoring goals.
“We need players who can get the goals for us and I hope the management can bring in a few quality signings in the next transfer window.”