We are not the favourites, says Pahang coach


JOHOR BARU: Pahang romped home to a convincing 4-1 win over Kelantan in their opening Premier I League match in Kota Baru on Saturday and make a return journey to the same venue tomorrow – this time for the FA Cup first round match. 

But Pahang coach Ralf Ferreira does not think the outcome will be as straightforward at their first meeting. 

In fact, he warned that Kelantan would definitely be much more difficult to beat this time around. 

“The scoreline makes it look as though we had an easy win on Saturday. Believe me, it was a hard game. The current wet spell has made the field very soggy and heavy. Kelantan are a very good side and they had their chances on Saturday,” the Brazilian said from Kuantan. 

“We are still groping in the dark. There is still a lot more for the players to learn and there are flaws that need to be corrected. I expect Kelantan to put up a tougher fight in the FA Cup.” 

Pahang have strengthened their team considerably for the new season. 

Apart from acquiring three internationals – Hairuddin Omar, Subri Sulong and Rosdi Talib – from Terengganu, the Elephants had also signed up Brazilian striker Helton Soares Pereira, grandson of former Brazilian great Didi. 

Ferreira also does not want his team to be labelled as the favourites to win the FA Cup nor serious contenders for the Premier I title just yet. 

“Please do me a favour. Please don't rate Pahang as serious title contenders just yet. The players are still learning and trying to adjust to my style of play,” he said. 

“We are not the favourites. There are many teams better than us. But if we can win matches with good scores like we did against Kelantan, then we can go all the way. 

“I don't want to put the players under pressure to win matches. Playing Kelantan for the second time in five days will be a big test of character for the team.” 

Pahang want to win at least one of the three silverware – the League Cup, the FA Cup or the Malaysia Cup – this season after finishing empty-handed last year. 

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