Cheng Hoe gone but not forgotten
KEDAH will continue with former coach Tan Cheng Hoe’s philosophy for the remainder of the season.
The reigning Malaysia Cup champion ended their fourmatch winless run when they edged Terengganu 1-0 in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final first leg match at Darulaman Stadium in Alor Star.
The win also marked caretaker coach Nidzam Adzha Yusoff’s first match in charge following the departure of Cheng Hoe on Saturday.
Substitute Farhan Roslan scored the only goal by finishing off Dane Ken Ilso’s cutback in the 71st minute.
Kedah dominated play and created 17 chances as Terengganu struggled without Uzbekistan’s Lutfulla Turaev and captain Abdul Latiff Suhaimi in midfield.
“We will continue to adopt Cheng Hoe’s pattern of play and philosophy for the rest of the season.
“The win, the first in five games, is meaningful for Kedah and it also marks a good start for me,” said Nidzam yesterday.
“The players did not show any signs of missing Cheng Hoe...they performed to their abilities. However, the area we need to work on is finishing. We should have scored more than one goal.
“The positive thing here is we did not concede a goal against Terengganu. We need to build from this win to get better.”
Team manager Datuk Jeffrey Low said Nidzam could be given a permanent role if Kedah continue to progress.
“We will assess the team’s progress at least for the next five matches before we decide whether we should offer Nidzam a permanent contract. Spaniard Ramon Marcote is one of the coaches shortlisted for the job,” said Jeffrey.
Terengganu coach Irfan Bakti said his team’s inability to control the midfield led to the defeat.
“The absence of Turaev and Latiff affected our performance. Their replacements were not confident and could not hold on to possession. We did not have a midfielder who could distribute the ball confidently.
“However, the boys still did well. The 1-0 defeat is a good score for us. I am confident we can bounce back in the return leg (on May 13),” said Irfan. Ajitpal Singh