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Thursday May 20, 2010

Turning Norhafiz into an attacking midfielder paying off for KL Plus

PETALING JAYA: KL Plus FC’s tactical move to switch defensive strongman Norhafiz Zamani Misbah into an attacking role in midfield has paid dividends.

Team manager Husni Mohd Yusuf said they had to resort to drastic changes to arrest the team’s decline in form.

“The switch appears to be working, for now,” said a relieved Husni yesterday.

Good tally: Norhafiz Zamani Misbah’s more offensive role in midfield is paying dividends for KL Plus.

The Highwaymen, who were winless in nine matches at one stage, are now back on the right track.

Since Norhafiz’s switch at the start of the second round on May 8, they have drawn with Perak (1-1) and scored wins over Penang (4-0) and T-Team (1-0).

Husni feels that national centreback Norhafiz has proved to be more useful to the team in the engine room following injuries to regular midfielder Reeshafiq Alwi and striker Mohd Nizaruddin Yusof.

“We don’t have much depth in attacking players in midfield and we had to try out something to check the rot in the team. Once things go back to normal we may bring him back to his old position,” said Husni.

Former Perlis players Azi Shahril Azmi and Es Lizwan Zahid Amir have done well holding the fort in defence and have conceded only one goal in their last three matches.

However, KL Plus face their biggest test on Saturday when they face defending champions Selangor at the Shah Alam Stadium.

KL Plus coach Mat zan Mat Aris is under tremendous pressure as the team management had set an ambitious target for them to win a silverware this season.

KL Plus are in the relegation zone in the 14-team Super League, languishing in 11th spot with only five wins from 16 matches.

“Our hopes of doing well in the Super League are slim. We just want to get out of the relegation zone and qualify for the Malaysia Cup competition,” said Husni.

The top 12 teams from the Super League and the top four from the Premier League will qualify to play in the Malaysia Cup competition.