Zainal to be Penang’s saviour
THE Penang FA (FAP) have placed their trust in former national captain Zainal Abidin Hassan to reignite their Super League hopes.
Zainal — who has previously coached Selangor and Pahang — replaces Ashley Westwood, who was given the boot last week after a run of form which saw Penang hit rock bottom in the standings with just two points.
FAP president Zairil Khir Johari said they have placed their trust on Zainal to not only build a strong team but also improve the confidence and hopes of the management and fans.
“With Zainal’s acceptance to be Penang chief coach, we believe that we have found a coach with ample experience who will be able to rectify and return the confidence of the players and the fans. We are confident that he can do it.
“We also know that our players have the calibre, skills and the ability of high level play. What they need is motivation, inspiration and direction after a miserable and destructive early part of the season,” Zairil told the media during a press conference at Komtar in George Town yesterday.
Zairil said with the arrival of Zainal, who will be with the Penang team until the end of this season, FAP are confident that they have found the right candidate to ensure Penang remain in the Super League.
Zairil also denied the decision to part ways with Westwood was an individual decision. He said the FAP executive council made the unanimous decision while negotiations with the Englishman were handled amicably.
Zainal said he was prepared to do his best to revive the fortunes of Penang football, which he believes can be rectified and rejuvenated.
“I know all the players, their capabilities and abilities and what they need most now is to build up their morale, confidence level and put them in high spirits. I am sure that I will be able to do it.
“Just allow me to go with the team first and concentrate with the present batch of players and after a few sessions, I will evaluate the situation before deciding on the players,” said Zainal. K. Kandiah
FAP president Zairil Khir Johari welcomes Zainal Abidin Hassan at theTun Abdul Razak Complex in Georgetown yesterday.