JOHOR BARU: Sarawak, reeling from the 2-4 defeat at the hands of defending champions Perak in a Premier I football match at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh on Saturday, have another important mission at the same venue on Wednesday.
This time it is the second-leg first-round FA Cup encounter against Perak TKN. Sarawak will take the field with a comfortable four-goal cushion from the 4-0 win in the first-leg in Kuching on Feb 19.
However, coach Jalil Ramli still sees Wednesday's match as an important tune-up for their Premier I league match against Johor FC at home this Saturday.
We have a four-goal cushion but we simply cannot ride on that in the second-leg. I am not pleased with what we dished out against Perak on Saturday, especially in the first-half, said Jalil from Ipoh.
In the season's opening league match against neighbours Sabah, Sarawak were held to a 3-3 draw in the East Malaysian derby despite leading 2-0 and then 3-1 which left them without a win over the Rhinos since 1993.
Jalil said Sarawak managed to put up a decent show in the second half against Perak but it still left a big question mark on the team.
Perak went on rampage against Sarawak after conceding a goal after only three minutes when Ghanaian striker Robert Eshun scored. However, the champions hit back through former national striker V. Saravanan in the 23rd and 33rd minutes.
Saravanan went on to score a hat-trick in the 58th minute after Khalid Jamlus scored Perak's third in the 53rd minute. Sarawak reduced the deficit through Gilbert Cassidy Gawing in the 66th minute.
Former national striker Bobby Pian gave a heart-warming performance after coming on as a substitute in the second-half. Jalil is now counting on Bobby for inspiration against TKN and hopefully against Johor FC.
It was Bobby's first M-League action this season after being kayoed by a fractured nose during training before the league kicked off with the Charity Shield match between FA Cup champions Penang and Malaysia Cup champions Selangor on Feb 9.
I need to see some good performance from the team ... a performance that will stand in good stead for us against Johor FC. We showed more commitment in the Perak game after Bobby was brought in, said Jalil.