Sunday, January 24, 2010

Zaki Laments Players ‘Bad Habits’

By Martin Yee, Easterntimes

KUCHING: Coach Zaki Sheikh Ahmad is not happy with the Sarawak players repeating their “bad habits” which cost them to pay heavily as they had yet to win after four matches including the last away match to Harimau Muda where they lost 0-1.

The main problem with the team is that they lost patience and discipline by making mistakes which cost them and the team dearly.

The red card awarded to centreback Fadley Kassim with only five minutes remaining in the game was a case in point as the team will lose the key defender for the next two matches due to automatic suspension.

“The players are not patient. They easily lose their concentration and focus even if there are a few minutes left in the game and they should be more patient to hold on to the game.

“Though their weaknesses is failure to convert the chances, they have to keep on trying and play hard. The goals will come if they keep on doing their best,” said Zaki.

“In football, the players must know how to behave and how to conduct themselves like know what to eat and how to eat,” said Zaki after his boys suffered their second defeat in four matches.

Against Harimau Muda, the Sarawak players started well doing most of the attacking in the first 15 minutes but failed to find the net with attempts either hit the post or rebounded into play.

Playing Zamri Morshidi and Effendi Malek upfront, the forwards keep pressing while the Harimau played with one striker upfront.

Shahrol Saperi who played his first match after regaining fitness was not fully fit yet but able to add more punch on the left flank while Rafiz Abu Bakar played on the right.

Firdaus Morshidi who started in the left back position was replaced by Zaki after 30 minutes as he kept on losing the ball while Wong Sai Kong and Fadley started as the two centrebacks.

For the next home match againt Armed Forces, next Friday, Sarawak need to get the three points if they were to win back the confidence of the fans said Zaki.

To get a win, Zaki need to tinker with his squad as he often used the match against PKNS where they drew 1-1 at home as a benchmark for their inability to nail the full points.

During that match, the players were playing out the “bad habits” off the field and “don’t know how to behave” according to the coach.

They attended a kendur i(feast) before that match and the players drank the energy drink 100 Plus and even brought back some “extras” to drink before the match.

In that 1-1 draw against PKNS, Sarawak literally played with nine players in long period for three young players Sufizal Ismail, Asri Chuchu and Hadera Bakeri were as good as non-functioning, according to the coach.

In both matches against PKNS and the last match against the national juniors, they did most of the attackings while their opponents just go for counter-attacks.

Sarawak lost to Harimau Muda by a sucker-punch in the 18th minute as they were attacking.

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