Deer banking on new signings to turn tables on Southern Tigers


Change of fortune: Negri Sembilan hope new signings Takumi Sasaki (left) and Mika Junco can lead them to victory over reigning Super League champions JDT. — Photo by Negri Sembilan FC

PETALING JAYA: Negri Sembilan’s first opponents in the Super League are a hard nut to crack.

Facing Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) is never easy for the Deer, but Azzmi Aziz’s charges are looking to give their best.

Key midfielder R. Barathkumar said their daily training is geared towards the match at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri tomorrow.

“We all know what JDT are capable of. It will not be an easy game for us but we are going there to do our best,” said the 31-year-old, who acts as a playmaker in midfield.

“For us, it’s the performance that matters. For the game in Iskandar Puteri, we want to put a good game. The result is secondary. We just want to perform and show the work we have done during training.”

The Deer have gone through some personnel changes for the new season with a blend of young and experienced players.

Even the foreign contingent have changed except for Myanmar winger Hein Htet Aung, so chemistry and understanding were developed during pre-season.

The new foreign signings are Japanese midfielder Takumi Sasaki, Nigerian centreback Aliyu Abubakar, Senegalese midfielder Jacques Faye and Spanish striker Mika Junco.

Barathkumar said things are different under Azzmi as his tactics are different compared to the previous coach K. Devan, who is now coaching Melaka.

“The pre-season was crucial in terms of understanding because it’s a new team. Yes, it’s a blend of young and experienced players, but we are looking good under coach Azzmi.”

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