Pitching for success

Not satisfied: JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (centre) inspecting the pitch during a training session at the National Stadium. Inset: JDT’s Jordi Amat speaking at a press conference. — Bernama

Jordi and Co hope to overcome T’ganu and poor field condition for Cup glory

THE condition of the pitch is worrisome but players should not use it as an excuse to dishout lacklustre performances in the Malaysia Cup final.That’s the sentiment of Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) captain and centreback Jordi Amat.

The Indonesian and Co have stated their displeasure over the poor pitch condition but they will not allow it to stop them from playing their A-game against Terengganu at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil today.

The pitch condition certainly looked far from perfect and has been damaged after the Coldplay concert two weeks ago.

Many believe that it could affect the rhythm of the game. In fact, even JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim shared a picture of the latest condition of the pitch through his social media page, 72 hours before the Malaysia Cup final.

“I am not happy (with the pitch condition) but let’s see. I hope the pitch can get a bit better by today,” said the 31-year-old Jordi.

“I went down to the pitch to touch it.

“In the middle part of the field, you can see some of the grass is not fully planted on the ground.

“Today, during the warm-up, we will see if the grass is still loose. If it is, then we will try our level best to avoid those parts and see if we can exhibit our skills in other areas of the pitch.

“I don’t want this to be an excuse. It is what it is. We will have to adapt. The other team will play on the same pitch too.”

Jordi said Terengganu would not be an easy meat although they have beaten them twice this year – 2-0 (Feb 24) and 3-1 (Sept 6).

“Our last fixture against them in Gong Badak wasn’t an easy one, especially the first half. They were really good but we picked it up in the second,” he said.

“We have to keep an eye on their strikers, especially during counters. We have to be ready.”

“This final is huge for us. As a kid, you dream of playing in such matches. As a captain, I’ve told the boys to maintain our style of play and adopt the winning mentality.

Meanwhile, Terengganu captain Habib Haroon wants to bring back a trophy to the state as they last won one in 2011 when they beat Kelantan 2-1 in the FA Cup final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The last Malaysia Cup they won was in 2001, when they beat Perak 2-1 in the final, also at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

“We are playing against one of the best teams in Malaysia, so we are excited.

“For us, it is one of the biggest games in our careers, so we look forward to giving our all,” said Habib.

“It’s my second final and I hope that we can do something special for us, and also for the fans.”

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