Two down, SPA Putrajaya next


Sarawak coach Alberts warns players against complacency despite big win over UiTM FC

ONE MORE IN THE NET: Sarawak’s Bobby Gonzales celebrates after scoring a goal against UITM FC during their Premier League match at State Stadium on Friday. — Photos by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Despite thrashing UiTM FC 5-0 on Friday night, state coach Robert Alberts prefers to remain humble.

Instead he warns his players about what to expect from KL SPA Putrajaya FC who will be hosting the next match tomorrow at Stadium Hang Tuah, Melaka.

Alberts said that the match against the team that won promotion to the Premier League after winning last year’s FAM league cannot be taken lightly.

“They had won several pre-season friendlies against good Super League teams such as Selangor and Negri Sembilan, they even thrashed Perlis 4-2 today (Friday),” said Alberts.

Praising his own boys for a deserving win, he pointed out that he had rectified several shortcomings that surfaced in the previous game with Perlis.

“The squad took time to settle down. The engine room was not moving fast enough and the defence gave too much space for UiTM FC players in the first 30 minutes.”

“However, they later played good attacking football until the final whistle,” said Alberts when met by reporters after the match.

He later revealed that he was testing several strategies such as moving Guy Bwele from the centre back to the engine room, where Guy’s versatility resulted in several dangerous attempts at the UiTM goalkeeper.

“Hairol Mokhtar who was replacing Guy has shown improvements when he succeeded in thwarting dangerous counter attacks by UiTM FC,” he elaborated.

Alberts would also like to see more presence from another key player, Azizan Saperi, who provided great long passes up front.

“He had earlier complained of having stiff legs and I hope he will recover fast for the next match on Monday (tomorrow),” he added.

When asked on the combination of Bobby Gonzalez-Ivan Babic, Alberts said Ivan had proved his goal scoring capabilities but the coach wants to see more action from him in dangerous situations.

“I could see glimpses of his style and let’s see as the season progresses,” he said.

Ramesh Lai Ban Huat, suspended after two yellow cards, is expected to return for Monday’s match.

The goal fest in front of the homecrowd is definitely a major boost for the squad handicapped by the absence of several key players such as Dzulazlan Ibrahim, Ashri Chuchu and Ramesh. While strikeforce Bobby and Babic proved that they were up to their tasks, the Crocs’ defending and passes were not up to mark.