Sabah can count on bold Jackson to hold the fort


Standout defender: Jackson Souza takes a shot at goal as coach Ong Kim Swee looks on.

PETALING JAYA: A pillar of strength at the back and one who oozes confidence – Jackson Souza has indeed warmed up to his role in Sabah.

The 32-year-old Souza will again be counted on when the Rhinos face Selangor in the Super League at the Petaling Jaya Stadium today.

Souza, who hails from Grosso, Brazil, has played in eight matches and has scored twice. His contributions have helped the Borneo side move up to third in the standings with 18 points from eight games.

He has been a standout defender for the club not only with his timely interceptions and ability to read the game but also his skill to trigger attacks from defence.

“I’m happy to help Sabah reach the top three but we haven’t won anything yet, we have to keep working. I’m having a great experience here, a city that has welcomed me with open arms,” said Souza.

“Being a centreback, it’s not a problem for me to play with two or three defenders. I’m used to it at my previous club Fortaleza last season.

“My relationship with the squad is excellent, not only with the defenders but with everyone in the team.

“In the beginning, it was difficult because of the language barrier. Now it is much better with the help of our translator, Everton.”

Sabah have come in for praise with their energetic performance, with some claiming that they could challenge reigning Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim.

But Souza said they still have lots of games to play before they can mount a serious challenge.

Against Selangor, he will be out to keep his compatriot Herlison Caion at bay.

The Red Giants striker has been in sizzling form scoring nine goals in seven matches.

“We must maintain our focus in every game because we haven’t conquered anything yet, there’s a long way to go,” he said.

“I want to be one of the best defenders in the Super League and a champion in any competition in my first year in Malaysia.”

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Jackson Souza , Sabah , Super League

   

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