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Miri FA look to defy odds against Keningau

Miri FA players during training session.

MIRI: Miri FA are looking to bounce from their two consecutive defeats when they host Keningau in the Liga Bolasepak Rakyat (LBR) at Miri Petroleum Recreation Club, Lutong today at 4pm.

Miri FA suffered a back-to-back defeats – against Tawau at home on Jan 27 and away at Kuching Gedong Gators last week.

However, head coach Mohd Hakimi Man said his players are in tip-top condition, the team’s confident level is high and they are ready to take on Keningau.

“I am 100 per cent sure that we will rise and win the match against Keningau on our own turf.

“Our players are fresh and fit. The frontline also showed sharpness in attack during training,” he told The Borneo post.

Referring to the match against the Kuching Gedong Gators, Hakimi said his team have showed significant improvement when compared to the match against Tawau.

“We did well in the game and created series of opportunities. But we were stunned with the first goal in the 12th minute in which our players were still struggling to adapt to the artificial pitch.

“And to make things worst, our defenders were given yellow card,” he explained.

Hakimi admitted the players were affected by a long ‘break’ between matches, which clearly disrupted their fitness level and momentum.

“The distance of the game interferes with the team’s performance,” he said.

After last year’s playoff against Kuching Gedong Gators on Dec 9, they were supposed to play Sibu on Dec 24 but their opponents failed to show up thus forfeited the game.

After a 48-day gap without playing any competitive match, Miri FA finally back into action against Tawau on Jan 27.

“The 48-day gap somehow is disturbing our momentum as we have no competitive local tournament and no sparring partner with the same level so it’s hard for us to keep up with our game.

“The team also having problems with training since the closure of Miri Stadium for upgrading,” he said.

Hakimi added that the team also suffered from the departure of their key players who have been picked to don the Sarawak jersey, and they now need to undergo time-consuming process to unearth potential players to fill the vacated positions.