Five matches to go, what say you my friend?
by CUP-TIED with Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on June 26, 2012, Tuesday
WITH five matches to go, Sarawak’s modest earlier season target of top five finishes has become a distant dream as the stark reality of relegation looms.
Collecting 23 points from 21 matches, the Crocs are currently in ninth position with only four points separating them from second-last Sabah.
The Crocs will have to make good of their remaining matches in hunting their prey, otherwise risk becoming extinct from the Malaysian Super League next season.
The away match against club side Felda United tonight will prove to be a stern test of character for the young Sarawak side which already suffered four consecutive league defeats to Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Lion XII.
After Felda United, Sarawak will play three consecutive home matches against the club sides of the MSL; Johor FC (June 30), Terengganu T-Team (July 3), Selangor PKNS (July 10) before finishing the season against the mighty Kelantan away on July 14.
It may be a tall order to ask, but the Crocs could not afford to return from Peninsular Malaysia with nothing less than the much needed three points.
After all, Felda United is positioned below Sarawak in the current league standing and the Crocs have beaten them before.
The same can be said for its match against Johor FC.
Not to put any more pressure on an already complicated situation, Sarawak with its already depleted squad due to injuries needed to take maximum points in its two other home matches.
Heading to Kota Bharu with survival not yet secured on the final match of the season is not an ideal situation, considering that Kelantan is also in the hunt to be crowned league champion.
Putting talks of survival aside, now is the time for everyone to rally behind the team. Now is not the time to be pointing fingers but to be united in passing through the storm.
After all, Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) president Datu Sudarsono Osman had said in the papers yesterday that now, more important than ever, every player and coaches must have self-belief.
“We must never give up. We must continue to work hard. We must have confidence in ourselves and our team. The self belief and confidence will enhance the player’s talents and the team’s chance of success,” he said.
To this I agree. Any form of negativity especially in the public limelight would prove a distraction and this is one thing that the Sarawak team can do without.
Now is the time to focus, to re-strategise, and to re-motivate.
Let’s leave the unified chanting for ‘change’ and for ‘heads to roll’ as heard last Saturday in the stadium during the agonising 1-2 defeat to Perak for another day, shall we.
We have plenty of time to criticise, to re-evaluate once the season ended. With five matches to go, we can’t afford to let our season slide further by creating more unrest within the Crocs team.
After all, we are still in the learning curve.
After all, it has been 15 years since Sarawak last lifted a major trophy when we won the Premier League in 1997. Waiting another five more matches wouldn’t hurt I reckoned.
Whatever result transpires within these next five matches, we must walk tall with our beloved ‘Sarawak Bujang Senang’ team.